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The ‘Great Vilnius Passport’ donation booklet of the Vilnius Iron Fund

Author: Vilnius Iron Fund
Dimensions:24 × 17 cm

Every Lithuanian was concerned about Vilnius, as their capital, in the interwar period. Reclaiming it was not only the official policy, but also a matter of importance for most citizens. Thus, images of it could be found everywhere, from chocolate boxes to professionally designed monuments. Perhaps the most distinctive example was the ‘Vilnius Passport’, a booklet issued by the Vilnius Iron Fund, a section of the Union for the Liberation of Vilnius. All citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, ‘big or small, rich or penniless’, were encouraged to acquire a donation booklet. It was illustrated with photographs of Vilnius and its well-known architectural sites, and decorated with motifs from folk textile patterns. The ‘Great Vilnius Passport’ bore Lithuanian tulip motifs in the Art Deco style, which was popular in the interwar period. After paying a sum of money to the Union for the Liberation of Vilnius, the holder of one of these passports received a sticker acknowledging the gift. The money collected in this way was put towards reclaiming Vilnius and supporting the Lithuanians who lived there. Contributing to the common political goal was a matter of honour for every Lithuanian citizen, donations were collected at almost all important public events, and civil servants were encouraged to give part of their salaries for the cause of Vilnius every month.

Text authors Dovilė Barcytė and Ieva Burbaitė

Source: Law firm Valiunas Ellex art album KAUNAS–VILNIUS / 1918–1945 (2021). Compilers and text authors Dovilė Barcytė and Ieva Burbaitė
Expositions: "1918-1945 / Kaunas-Vilnius", 27 August 202021 August 2021, Lithuanian Art Centre TARTLE (Užupio St. 40, Vilnius). Curators Dovilė Barcytė and Ieva Burbaitė.