The Devil Museum, Kaunas
Whilst off out on an adventure exploring Kaunas I discovered the wonderful Žmuidzinavi?ius Museum, or Devil’s Museum.
The museum houses a collection devil inspired artworks including small tapestries, masks and a lot of effigies of the devil carved from wood. Many of these items were collected by Lithuanian artist Antanas Žmuidzinavi?ius who initiated the collection in the first half of the twentieth century. The museum was established as a memorial to Žmuidzinavi?ius following his death and is housed in his old studio and home. His studio has actually been preserved as it was at the time of his death and is also available to view.
The collection of devils is absolutely wonderful and features every incarnation of the devil you can imagine from gluttonous caricatures to really rather creepy carnival masks which I must admit were amongst my favourite exhibits.
Each section of the exhibition is divided up thematically with short histories of the images and scenes depicted accompanying the objects informing visitors about all manner of religious and folk traditions relating to devils, demons and witchcraft. The top floor of the museum is dedicated to donations that have been made to the museum from visitor around the globe. Items such as those from the Far East and from Western Europe provide a nice contrast to the main Eastern European collection.
The Devil’s Museum is definitely one of the most wonderfully curious museuems I have had the pleasure of stumbling across and was full of grotesque inspiration.