Magdalena Birutė Stankūnaitė-Stankūnienė - Kauno Bienalė

Magdalena Birutė Stankūnaitė-Stankūnienė

Magdalena Birutė Stankūnaitė-Stankūnienė (born 1925 in Oželiai village, Vilkaviškis district, Lithuania; died 2017 in Chicago, USA) was a Lithuanian expatriate painter, graphic artist, writer, patron of art and culture, as well as an inspiration and supporter of various projects. During the Second World War, she fled to Germany and later relocated to Great Britain, where she studied at the Mayfair Mannequin Academy in London and at St. Martin’s School of Arts. In 1960, she moved to the USA and continued her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago, Vytautas Petravičius’ studio, Bogan City College, and the Chicago Academy for the Arts. While in exile, she became a member of the Cultural Council of the Lithuanian-American Community, the Lithuanian-American Artists’ Union, the group “Dailė”, the Lithuanian-American Artists’ Society, and the Hyde Park Art Centre Association. She managed the art archive at the Lithuanian Studies and Research Centre in Chicago and, after 1990, oversaw its transfer to the Lithuanian National Museum of Art.

Stankūnaitė-Stankūnienė’s body of work includes painting, graphic art (primarily woodcuts), and stained glass. Her early graphic works, characterized by primitivist features, primarily revolve around themes of the Lithuanian countryside. In her later work, she unveils mysterious visions with distinctive abstract shapes, conveying a sense of constant movement and shifting colours. Her paintings are known for their decorativeness, expressiveness, uniform linear rhythm, expressive composition, and combinations of contrasting colours. The artist has also created stained glass, mosaics, and batik works.

Stankūnaitė-Stankūnienė’s pieces can be found in the Lithuanian National Museum of Art, the National M.K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art, as well as museums in Biržai, Plungė, Molėtai, Kudirkos Naumiestis, Rietavas. Her works are also held at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, Vilnius University, Marijampolė P. Kriaučiūnas Library, Vilkaviškis Library, Vytautas Magnus University, Mykolas Romeris University, and the Franciscan convent in Kretinga.