Wednesday, 12 March 2014

From the library of

Ex libris is a Latin phrase meaning ‘from the books of’. An exlibris or a bookplate indicates the ownership of a book.

It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that the first bookplate appeared bearing a Lithuanian inscription by an unknown artist.  In 1928 the first Lithuanian bookplate exhibition was held in the Čiurlionis gallery in Kaunas from the collection of Galaimė.

During the period of Lithuanians independence (1918-1940) there were numerous Lithuanian artists creating bookplates.  Between the Second World War until 1960, Lithuanian bookplate creation lay idle.  After that time they developed into a rich variety of styles and techniques.  In Lithuania the bookplate has become not only a separate art form, but the artists gesture to his friends as well as a memento of some important commemoration.  1979 was the 400th anniversary of the Vilnius University and many bookplates were made to commemorate this. 

Lithuanian bookplates are considered among the best in the world. 

Lidija Šimkutė-Pocienė has collected Lithuanian bookplates for many years.  She has compiled a considerable collection of Lithuania’s best known Ex libris artists.  Lidija’s collection has been exhibited in various venues across Australia.
  • ‘The Link’ Canberra Theatre, Nov 1-27th 1982
  • State Library of South Australia, 1981
  • Australian Lithuanian Days held in Adelaide 1987 (6th Lithuanian World Youth congress) 
  • Geelong Library 1998

Lidija has donated her collection of several hundred bookplates to the Australian Lithuanian Museum and Archives.  The donation includes a collection of articles and books on bookplates in Lithuanian and English.  
Ex Libris Lidija Simkute-Pociene
Program cover to the Ex libris exhibition held in Adelaide

Ex Libris Lidija Simkute-Pociene

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