Salvage Hunter & Shed in Countryside. Part 4

“In the Garden” c 1920, painting on cardboard 67.5 x 57.5 cm

I took the second important step using my books. I knew about a very famous family in Kaunas. I checked the address and decided to visit this house.
The city area is not too big in Kaunas city. You can arrive at your destination in a maximum of 30 minutes by car. To find this house took 10 minutes. It was summer time. I saw people around the table in the inside garden. Old lady saw me and invited me to go in.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name

People around the table are mostly artists from Kaunas. J. Zalensas sitting in a wheelchair. As I found later he can’t talk, can’t hear and walk anymore. The woman told me that the Zalensas family had a big tragedy. J. Zalensas wife, mother and someone from Juratis family died in a few days. J. Zalensas was paralyzed, lost hearing, he can’t talk and walk anymore. But he has a clear minding. Now he can move the hands and can write – she said. And she cared at the house and nursed J. Zalensas.

I said I was interested to have a look at the art they have. We walked inside when the guests left the garden. There were a lot of paintings, sculptures and ceramic art. The woman gave the piece of paper, if you need to ask something J. Zalensas just wrote here, – she said. There were interesting paintings in the house. But our chat on paper with the owner of the collection did not yield a good result. The prices were too big for me.

The woman told me they have another house about 50 kilometers from here. And there in the garage they keep hundreds of paintings. Nobody needs these paintings and she will be happy to sell it, because they need money. The care and nursery costs are too big. And extra money will be helpful. I became a regular visitor in this house, sometimes I bought something from ceramic art. And one day the woman said that we can go to the country house tomorrow, because someone will come to care about J. Zalensas and she will take a few hours off.

Valerija Zalensiene (Lithuanian artist and collector, 1925 – 1997), Juratis Zalensas mother.

Born in Riga, Latvia. 1956 graduated from the Lithuanian State Institute of Arts in Vilnius. Acquired the qualifications of Mural and Fresco Painter. Member of Lithuanian Artists” Association since 1957. Participant of exhibitions since 1957. Worked in the sphere of painting, mosaic and leather.

Bronius Zalensas (Lithuanian artist and art collector, 1921 – 1994) Juratis Zalensas father.

Born in Pumpenai town, Panevezys district. 1949 graduated from the Lithuanian State Institute of Applied and Fine Arts in Kaunas. Acquired the qualifications of Sculptor. Participant of exhibitions since 1950. Member of Lithuanian Artists” Assocation since 1952. Worked in the sphere of plastics.

Juratis Zalensas (Lithuanian artist, 1952 – 2015)

Born in Riga, Latvia. 1978 graduated from the Lithuanian State Institute of Arts in Vilnius. Acquired the qualifications of Sculptor and Teacher. Participant of exhibitions since 1976. Member of Lithuanian Artists” Association since 1983Worked in the sphere of plastics and painting.

The next day I took 3000 Litas (750 USD) and we drove off to this house.
I took everything without looking. Here were maybe a thousand paintings in the garage. My offer was 3000 Litas and the woman was very happy. I filled up my car. Here was not enough space to sit to drive. But I did it.

Now I need to find the right place to store these paintings. I found where.

Later I found this drawing was a main
Sample for the next created theatre costumes by artist
N. Gontcharova


Lithuanian Artists Association consists of five regional departments of Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai and Panevezys. In 2000 the Association included 1273 members. Kaunas Department has been active since 1953. At the beginning, it included 46 artists, and in 2000 it had 269 members. Lithuanian Artists Association in Kaunas Department has accumulated documents about its members for many years. The artists would eagerly contribute the information about their creative works, but the collected material was never systematized. The information covers authors of all generations. The majority of authors have passed away already. The documentation will be interesting for art collectors. It will be useful for the twenty century art historians, providing a chance to identify the authors of “forgotten” works.

For security reasons, the place where the stored paintings will not be made to public.

Will be continue….

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