Vilniaus laikinosios archeologijos komisijos "neakivaizdininkės": "gender aspektas" Vilniaus senienų muziejaus istorijoje (1856-1865)

Collection:
Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Knygos dalis / Part of the book
Language:
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Title:
Vilniaus laikinosios archeologijos komisijos "neakivaizdininkės": "gender aspektas" Vilniaus senienų muziejaus istorijoje (1856-1865)
Alternative Title:
"Extramural" members of the Vilnius Temporary Archaeological Commission: "the gender aspect" in the History of the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities (1856-1865)
Keywords:
LT
Vilnius. Vilniaus kraštas (Vilnius region); Lietuva (Lithuania).
Summary / Abstract:

ENThe Vilnius Museum of Antiquities and the Vilnius Temporary Archaeological Commission were societies of distinguished men. It was the image and official statistics of these institutions. Not a single woman’s name is found among more than 250 members of the commission. However, this information does not reflect the actual situation. A look at other sources allows us to add the names of 76 women who participated in the activity of these institutions in various ways, above all as donors of the museum. We can find some data on the women who made donations to the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities in the Donations Book, the records of the Vilnius Temporary Archaeological Commission and the records of its meetings published in the press. There are some individual documents as well: letters, letters of thanks and cover letters. Women’s attitude to the activity of these institutions is reflected in their private letters and creative work. In their typology, women’s donations to the museum are on a par with antiquities donated by men. These are unique objects of nature, written documents (books, small publications, manuscripts), works of art (paintings, prints and sculptures), maps and numismatic items. Women quite frequently donated objects related with Napoleon I and the Masons. However, most importantly, they donated memorial objects important for the history of Lithuania, artefacts of Lithuanian mythology, landscapes related to the history of the country, portraits and busts, memorial objects and autographs of figures important for Lithuania. In i860 women made the largest number of donations - sixteen - to the museum, while in 1865 there were only three donations. Six women made donations twice, and one woman - four times. In some cases women not only donated an exhibit to the museum, but also provided an account of its history. Sometimes the history of an artefact reflected the history of a woman from this country.We can presume that at least twelve women who made donations to the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities themselves were collectors. We have not succeeded in establishing the social origin of seventeen women who supported the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities. However, it is obvious that in their large majority they were nobles; nine of them were representatives of prominent aristocratic families of Lithuania (Broel-Plater, Gunther, Pac, Sapieha, Sobański, Soltan, Tyszkiewicz and Wołłowicz). The list also includes four burghers. 53 women were married; among them, nine or ten were widowed. 41 women were well known or at least recorded in history; twelve of them were writers and artists. 31 women were daughters, wives or sisters of scientists, writers and artists, patrons of science and art or collectors. Fathers, husbands, brothers or close relatives of thirteen women who made donations to the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities were members or associate members of the Vilnius Temporary Archaeological Commission. Two women sent donations to Vilnius from Prague and Rome. Attendance also showed womens favourable attitude to the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities. The museum received the largest number- more than three thousand - of female visitors in 1857. Museum employees always meticulously registered the gender of the visitors. It also shows in a way that womens attendance was important to the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities, just like the reflection of women in the museum’s collections and exhibition. The Vilnius Museum of Antiquities held and exhibited portraits, sculptures and busts of female rulers and magnates famous in history (in particular, that of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania). Women were represented in statuettes of ancient pagan deities, classical vases and works of church art accumulated in the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities. Women could also be seen in the engravings of Album de Wilna.There were portraits of not only female magnates but also peasant women in the museum. Both historical and contemporary women, writers and actresses, the latter in particular, were represented. The fate of all these exhibits, like that of the objects donated by women, is complicated. Today, only a small part of them is held in Lithuania. However, it is not the objects themselves or their number (which is certainly much smaller than that of antiquities donated by men) that is important. It is the fact of women making donations to the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities recorded in historical documents that marked a step in women’s liberation. Only one woman made an anonymous donation to the museum, while all the others wished to be seen and recognised. Moreover, they brought or sent their gifts not together with their husbands or brothers, but by themselves and in their own name. Patronage and charity was an inseparable part of the life of noblewomen and rich women burghers of that time. However, donations to the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities - “a monument which the present has built to the past” (in the words of a female correspondent of Adam Honory Kirkor), i.e. donations for the benefit of history (in this case, the history of Lithuania) - is a different aspect showing both the womens intellectual aspirations and the growth of historical self-consciousness, and often also patriotic moods. Finally, the numbers themselves are quite eloquent. E.g„ from 1792 to 1832, as few as three women made donations to the Vilnius University Library, and from 1856 to 1865, already 76 women became donors of the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities. Progress is obvious, although we do not find the names that we have expected to find among the women of Lithuania who made donations to this institution, bearing in mind their literary and scientific aspirations. [From the publication]

ISBN:
9786098039764
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Updated:
2022-01-18 08:12:22
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