Monumental Art

Also on Sunday, I had the opportunity to meet sculptor Juozas Ruzgas.  He makes large bronze sculptures — often with a water theme for fountains — and architectural sculptures for buildings.  I discovered that I already knew two of his pieces, the Vytautas Magnus University sculpture on the main building on Daukanto Street and the Fire Goddess sculpture in the fountain in the Musical Theater square.  I also learned that he chose the Fire Goddess image as a tribute to Romas Kalanta’s self-immolation when he created the sculpture in 2005 (the fountain is in the same square in which Kalanta immolated himself).  I didn’t know this connection between the sculpture and Kalanta until I met Ruzgas on Sunday.

I also got to see several films he made as a student at the Vilnius Art Academy in 1956-1957.  They were clever and funny and fascinating to see since they portrayed life in Lithuania just after Stalinism.  He is a very interesting and talented person.  I was lucky to have a chance to meet him.

Vytautas Magnus University sculpture on Daukanto street

Razgas sculpture in Nida; photo from


Gabija, Ugnės Dievė (The Fire Goddess) fountain sculpture. My apologies -- it's difficult to get a good photo because she is always shaded by trees


About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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