Characteristic of Bohemia in Interwar Kaunas Cover Image

Tarpukario Kauno bohemos ypatumai
Characteristic of Bohemia in Interwar Kaunas

Author(s): Justina Minelgaitė
Subject(s): History
Published by: Vytauto Didžiojo Universitetas
Keywords: bohemia; cultural traditions; cultural heritage

Summary/Abstract: The lack of scientific view towards bohemia in Lithuania has influenced the origin of various stereotypes and myths, associated with bohemian counterculture. Some of manifestations of artists’ lives of temporary capital have already become the part of identity of Kaunas City, reflecting in stereotypic images of bohemian life, inherited from previous generations. The existence and abundance of these images determined the selection of this final paper’s subject and the new attitude towards bohemian phenomenon – manifestations of bohemianism in artists’ lives are viewed not only as cultural myth, inherited generation after generation, but also as intangible cultural heritage, typical to Kaunas City. The subject of article is the image of Kaunas interwar bohemia, captured in iconographic materials (art works, photographs, caricatures) and in memories of contemporaries. The aim of the paper is to show the attributes of Kaunas bohemia and to describe its peculiarities, while examining memories of contemporaries and art works. Sudden becoming a state capital, absence of cultural traditions of the city, still often evidencing provincialism, disappointment felt during interwar period, official restraints, communication with foreign bohemian communities determined the fact that the image of Kaunas bohemian was not a smooth one, some types of man image can be seen here: one idealizing the past, a dandy or a smart dresser and a mutineer. The issue of women bohemianism in the context of Lithuania is quite specific. Since society was fairly conservative, and its norms had especially strong influence on women, it was difficult for an artist woman to blend into bohemian male environment; therefore the attributes of an artist woman’s image in the bohemian environment have been examined individually. However, it should be noted that the aforementioned division is conditional, and “impurity”, mixing together of each excluded type should be considered as one of peculiarities of Kaunas interwar bohemia.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 12
  • Page Range: 109-154
  • Page Count: 45
  • Language: Lithuanian