Department of Sacral Art Heritage

Department of Sacral Art Heritage

Head of Departament – senior researcher Dalia Vasiliūnienė, PhD

Research staff:
Aleksandra Aleksandravičiūtė, PhD
Asta Giniūnienė
, PhD
Teresė Jurkuvienė
, PhD
Skirmantė Smilingytė-Žeimienė, PhD
Regimanta Stankevičienė, PhD
Gabija Surdokaitė-Vitienė, PhD
Gražina Marija Martinaitienė, PhD
Lijana Birškytė-Klimienė, doctoral student
Karina Simonson, doctoral student

The main themes of the Department:

1. “The researches of the heritage of Lithuanian religious and folk art”

The main scientific activities of the Department of Sacral Art Heritage are distinguished by consistency and continuity. It is a systematic search, investigation and publication of Lithuanian diocese cultural (architecture and art objects) and folk art heritage comprising the largest part of surviving Lithuanian artistic heritage. The department staff scrutinizes the religious art of the 16th-20th centuries and folk art history, ties between piety traditions, various factors and religious fine and applied arts, the craft of the goldsmith in Lithuania, history of textile; contribution of sacral art into Lithuanian culture, iconography of saints; links between professional and folk fine art; problems of interaction and division between art and crafts; creation of artists, craftsmen and folk masters. Objects inherited by Lithuanian churches are evaluated, archives and source data stored, the heritage of the church and folk art interpreted and presented to society.In the Department, the archive of iconography data (or iconographical sources) has also been accumulated. The researchers of the Department provide participate in the expert commissions for heritage protection influence the strategy of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Lithuania and assist in addressing important heritage recording tasks. The Department of Sacral Art Heritage has implemented or implements the projects financed by Lithuanian Science Council, according to the Lithuanistics development programme “The Sacred Art of Lithuania: the Šiauliai Diocese” (No. LIT-2-17, head of the programme Dalia Vasiliūnienė), duration 2010-2012, “The Sacred Art of Lithuania: the Šiauliai Diocese.Part II” (No. LIT-7-9, head of the programme Dalia Vasiliūnienė), duration 2013-2015. The department also issues the annual number of the scholarly peer-reviewed journal Menotyra [Studies in Art], issued by the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.

Selected publications:

Since 1996, the Department researchers have been preparing and publishing a scientific voluminous editionLietuvos sakralinė dailė[The Sacred Art of Lithuania]. In 1996 - 2007, seven books of the 1st volume dedicated to churches of Vilkaviškis diocese were published. Currently the sacral heritage of Šiauliai diocese is being analysed and presented in books. The articles of the volume introduce into sacral architecture, new explorations of the history of churches and parishes, works of fine and applied art and most of them are newly detected or attributed:

Studies of religious culture constitute another significant area of the department activity. Since 2004, the Department has been publishing the scholarly series Religinės kultūros paveldo studijos(Religious studies of cultural heritage):

Monographs, studies and collections of articles:

Applied studies:

2. The Department is implementing the programme: „Lithuanian art legacy: images, texts, contexts“

The long-lasting programme of scientific research, social and cultural development is implemented from 2013 01 01 to 2016 01 01, head of the programme Dr. Laima Surgailienė (Laučkaitė) (Department of Art History and Visual Culture). The main goal of the programme is to discover and include the previously unknown Lithuanian artistic heritage into the sphere of scholarly research together with related historical texts and sources. The programme aims to reveal the peculiarities of the visual culture of different historical periods, to disclose the ties of visual culture with the social, religious, ideological, political practises and to renew the methodological base of Lithuanian art research.


Applied studies: