MO Museum, a personal initiative of Lithuanian scientists and philanthropists Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus, functioned as an art museum without walls for close to ten years. The collection of 5000 modern and contemporary pieces contains major Lithuanian artworks from the 1950s to this day.
From October 18th, 2018 MO has become an excellent place to spend free time. MO invites visitors to attend exhibitions, film screenings, educational activities, concerts and events geared to all age groups. One of MO’s goals is to create an active community of MOdernists who support the idea of MO and want to help us create a new kind of museum – together!
MO is openness. Art can be accessible to everyone. This is the MO we hope to create: a welcoming museum for first-time visitors and art professionals alike.
MO is a conversation partner. Art invites us to talk to one another about the stories, colors and shapes captured by artwork. Today, museums aren’t just archives – they help build relationships between artwork and museum visitors. MO embraces the latest practices implemented by museums around the world, by sharing its knowledge and creating interactive tools for learning more about art.
MO is alive. Our museum is a living space of discovery, which is why we seek to share our knowledge and create a meaningful museum experience everywhere – not just in the exhibition halls. MO will host activities throughout the museum and even beyond its walls. We want to experience a living culture, which is why we hope to see you at MO events, spending time in our reading room, at the café, in our shop, in the MO sculpture garden or on the terrace above the Old Town.
MO is an experiment. MO is a private, self-financed art museum that values good business methods and practices. We strive to be a catalyst for anyone wishing to collaborate and talk about art. We are constantly building a dialogue: within the MO team itself and in our pursuit of creative ideas in collaboration with the business, academic and art communities.
Photo: Judita Grigelytė/„Verslo žinios“
MO Collection – one of the largest private art collections in Lithuania, the MO Museum Collection consists of artworks dating from the 1950s to this day. It includes close to 5000 works of modern and contemporary Lithuanian art. In 2011 the collection was officially recognised as being of “national significance.”
MO founders Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus began to assemble the collection in 2008. They invited Professor Raminta Jurėnaitė and other art historians to help them systematically shape a core collection containing works of painting, graphic art, photography and video art as well as a secondary set of small sculptures and interdisciplinary works (performance, installation art, etc.).
Reflecting a broad range of styles and ideas, the collection introduces viewers to the main processes and developments in Lithuanian art of the last 60 years. A portion of the works is art that was considered ideologically unacceptable by Soviet authorities and to which, following state policies, Lithuanian museums of the era paid little attention. The collection also presents the generation of artists who entered the art scene with the restoration of Lithuania’s independence. The majority of the artists represented in the collection are still active today and are recognised in Lithuania and abroad.
The collection is continually supplemented with new and relevant works of Lithuanian art.
The “Travelling Museum” is MO Museum’s mobile version. Even before it opened, MO cared a lot about getting to know its future visitors, so we held a series of meetings and discussions about art and the museum of today.
MO dedicated 2017 to get-togethers, games with students and discussions with different communities, and with anyone who invited us to meet them.
“Travelling Museum” educator Ieva Rekštytė-Matuliauskė visited numerous schools in Vilnius. She worked with students and teachers to find ways of turning a typical 45-minute lesson into a blend of creativity, art and youthful curiosity that would inspire life-long interest in culture.
MO Museum dedicated 2018 to getting to know communities. We visited Lithuania’s largest cities to introduce the new museum and invited people and groups to help us create it – together!
The “Travelling Museum” is about encounters and conversations. It’s an opportunity to establish connections, to hear you and to tell you about MO Museum and the ideas behind it.
MO Museum began operations in 2009 in Vilnius at its offices at Literatų (Writers’) Street 8, so it is fitting that the first project of this “museum without walls” was opened right outside its doors.The aim of the project was to revitalize Literatų Street, linking it more closely to the life of the writers who have lived and worked in Vilnius and with foreign authors who have shared a connection with Vilnius and Lithuania.
The MO Modern Art Museum building designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind is conceived as a cultural gateway linking the past and the future. The interior courtyard cuts through the entire building and features a dramatic staircase connecting a plaza at street level with an open terrace on the roof. The structure flows between its exterior and interior, between the public and the private.
Though the MO Museum is a compact building, it contains all the necessary elements to run a world-class institution, including educational areas, a multi-functional hall, administrative offices, a café and a museum shop.
Thus, the building offers an important functional flexibility, allowing these spaces to operate even when the museum itself is closed. Optimization of space and functional flexibility contributes to the eco-friendliness of the building.
The new MO Museum, realized in partnership with the Lithuanian firm Do Architects, is the first cultural project by Studio Libeskind in the Baltic region.
Lecture by Daniel Libeskind during the opening of MO Museum.
“Edge of Order”:
Sound from 1:50
MO Sculpture Garden, with terraces uniting public spaces, creates a diverse and inviting environment. The ensemble promotes the idea of meaningful leisure and gathers an active society of art lovers to meet and interact.
The garden features an array of art selected to showcase the most vibrant works by Lithuanian sculptural avant-garde artists. The artists featured here include Mindaugas Navakas, one of the first in Lithuania to explore environmental art; the tireless innovator Petras Mazūras, who continues to develop conceptual sculpture; and Vladas Urbanavičius, best known for Krantinės arka (Embankment Arch, 2009) – dubbed “The Pipe” by his fellow citizens of Vilnius. The MO Sculpture Garden has also incorporated figurative sculpture, showcasing Ksenija Jaroševaitė‘s unconventionally beautiful little “creatures”.
Together with easy access to public transport and rentable city bicycles, these solutions seek to create a comfortable environment for museum-goers of all ages.
MO Sculpture Garden is open 24/7.