Exhibition of Historic Photography at Vilnius Photography gallery
Jonas Dvariškis was born in 1912 in Pakruojis in the family of a railroad worker. In 1936 he graduated from Teachers' gymnasium in Šiauliai. After being released from military services due to the health problems, he started to work as a teacher in Rozalimas at the secondary school of Maldiniai.
Teacher was interested in history, geography, biology, philosophy, photography, and special attention paid to literature. During summer holidays he used to canoe through the rivers and take pictures during the trips. He documented his impression about the traveling in his diary and depicted the memoirs with the photographs. Some of his photos were published in magazines "Naujoji Romuva", "Karys". Two pictures "The church in the plain" and "The beginning of winter" were exhibited in exhibition in Šiauliai, which was organized by society "Putpelė".
Soon the parents of J. Dvariškas had sold their house in Pakruojis and moved to Rozalimas. Both the father and the son were ill with tuberculosis. After the death of the father, J. Dvariškis suffered harder attacks of the disease and he was obliged to abandon the work at school. In 1943 he started to work at the library in Rozalimas. The tuberculosis emasculated J. Dvariškis completely and he had died just 32 years old.
For long time the negatives of the photographer had been at his mothers auspices. After her death together with the rest assets they had been stored in the barn. Sixteen years old clergymen Juozas Antanavičius, at the present a prelate in Panevėžys, was renting the room in the house where mother of J. Dvariškis had been living up to her death. While looking through the assets in the barn he has found the box with the negatives. J. Antanavičius at once recognized the value of the finding and kept it for long time.
After the death of Stalin for the first time pictures were printed from the negatives and only after Lithuanian gained the independence in 1991 J. Antanavičius brought the photographs to Chicago where the exhibition of J. Dvariškis works was organized and catalogue published.
J. Dvariškis in his photographs (1933-40) shows the daily life of Lithuania, people and nature. Most of the pictures depict his family, relatives, friends, and portraits, motives from the life of Lithuanian army, scholars, and students. During his vacations J. Dvariškis used to travel a lot, therefore the photographs contains the documentation from various Lithuanian villages and towns, pictures of various churches, ethnographic monuments like Hill of Crosses, landscapes of seaside region, scenes from markets. It's a pity that there are no records left of dates and places where the pictures had been taken.
By Stanislovas Žvirgždas