MO Museum

About MO

MO muziejus | Danguolė ir Viktoras Butkai

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 1960s 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.

MO Collection

MO muziejus | MO Museum

MO Collection – one of the largest private art collections in Lithuania, the MO Museum Collection consists of artworks dating from the 1960s to this day. It includes more than 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.

MO muziejus | MO Museum
MO muziejus | MO museum

Architecture

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. 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

International media about MO opening and MO building: Architectural DigestDezeenMetropolisDesignboomWallpaperThe Art NewspaperVogue (Poland), ArchDailyBaltic Times.