Elk in the Dunes as well as other Animals of the Curonian Spit is an exhibition from the 19th and the first half of the 20th century East Prussian painting and graphic art collection of Aleksandr Popov, the native of Klaipėda, which will be held in the Gallery Pamarys of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art (LNMA), located at L. Rėsos str. 3, Neringa. The exhibition opens from 9 June, 2020 through 27 September, 2020.  The opening ceremony will be held at 4 pm on 12 June, 2020.

The exhibition was prepared by the LNMA Pranas Domšaitis Gallery and the non-profit organization “Nidden”, the name of which reminds and symbolically extends the Pranas Domšaitis Art Gallery Exhibition Elk in the Dunes which took place during the fall of 2019 and exhibited works from collections of the East Prussian Regional Museum in Lüneburg (Germany). The exhibition was dedicated to a motif of Elk which was a very popular motif in the East Prussian art as well as in the works of the painters who belonged to the Artists’ Colony in Nidden.  

A numerous collection of Aleksandr Popov allowed us to look more attentively to the animal genre works which were produced by artists who originally came from East Prussia, who lived here or who frequently visited in this region. The exhibition includes 40 pieces of art, including paintings and graphic art (prints) by 30 artists – Fritz Behrendt, Eduard Bischoff, Gustav Boese, Alfred von Brühl, Alfred Degner, Friedrich Eicke, Helma Fischer-Oels, Richard Friese, Julius Freymuth, K. Güttenberger, Alexander Harder, Fritz Janowski, Hans Kallmeyer, Paul Lehmann-Brauns, Gerhard Löbenberg, Georg Majewicz, Alfred Partikel, Heinz Powilleitas, Dimitri Prokofieff, Karl Röttger, Ernst Schaumann, Carl Scherbring, Carl Scherres, Elisabeth Schmidt, Max Schmidt, Werner Sieloff, Carl Steffeck, John Theele, Hugo Walzer and Franz Wimmer. 

The paintings depict regional wild life as well as domestic animals and birds. Visitors will be able to see compositions with roe deer, wild boar, foxes, workhorses and fine purebreds, goats, sheep, cows and cattle herds, partridges, black grouse, ducks, geese and chickens. The animal theme was not always the leading one, sometimes painters included animals to invigorate settings for romantic depiction of coastal and marine nature views. Elk was the most popular animal to paint, it was depicted in twelve works.  The best represented painter in the exhibition is Hans Kallmeyer, who was even refer to as the Elmaler (the elk painter). Among other fellow painters of the Nidden Artists’ Colony nobody could match him in terms of numbers of paintings that portrayed elks and other wild life. Unsurprisingly, there are nine of his works included in this exhibition.    

The exhibition Elk in the Dunes and Other Animals of the Curonian Spit is a part of an ongoing project ot the cultural tourism route In Search of the Wonderful Land. From the Artists’ Colony in Nida to Pranas Domšaitis. It is the fourth year of the project which was developed and implemented by four coastal cultural organisations: Thomas Mann Cultural Centre, Non-Profit Organisation Nidden, Directorate of the Curonian Spit National Park, and Pranas Domšaitis Gallery of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art. The project is partially financed by the Klaipėda city municipality and Neringa Museums. 

Information provided by the LNMA Pranas Domšaitis Gallery