Author: Drėma Vladas, 1910 - 1995
Created: around 1928.
Material / technique: paper, pencil, ink, gouache.
Dimensions: 57x36 cm.
Design of the poster advertising distance construction courses.
This poster from the Art Deco period calls forth the images of the pre-war Vilnius embodied in the nostalgic memoirs of Česlovas Milošas at the time when political turmoil had reduced the capital city to provincial insignificance. Regardless of this, arts were booming while the golden-winged alumni of the local grammar schools and Vilnius University kept leaving in their pursuits of discovering the world, to never return. After the mid-century storms emptied Vilnius for good, Česlovas Milošas revisted the streets of his youth in the modern times, but the only witness of their bygone days he met – the only one worthy of sharing their memories – was – Vladas Drėma. He had remained loyal to his home city, never abandoning it and going down in history as the great keeper of the Vilnius legacy.
Contrary to the conventional art of 20th century teeming with gloomy apprehension, the Art Deco style, with its transparent, sportive and proactive character, was embracing the joy of the present day in any shape or form: whether in the villas of the bourgeoisie or in this hand-drawn poster by Vladas Drėma meant to catch the eye of a passer-by.
Source: 29th Vilnius Auction (catalogue) – Dailės rinkos agentūra, 20 September 2013, p. 41.
The artist of this design must have been familiar with the trompe l’oeil effect, whereby painting envelopes became very popular in the 19th century. The envelope in this poster constitutes the main message of the advertisement: the address on it contains information about distance-learning construction courses and the venue for them at 12 Olandų Street in Vilnius. The Marshal Józef Piłsudski State Technical School (Szkoła Techniczna im. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego w Wilnie) had been operating since 1927. Today, it is the building of the Vilnius College of Technology and Design. The design for the poster was kept for many years by the screenwriter Pranas Morkus. It is believed to be a student work by VLADAS DRĖMA (1910–1995), who attended Vytautas Kairiūkštis’ (1890–1961) art studio. But even if it is not by Drėma, it is no less interesting, because it shows the teaching methods used at Stephen Báthory University, trends in the study of graphic art, and the fact that in the interwar period, Vilnius’ educational institutions began to expand into Antakalnis. Beside the huge building of the Technical School designed by Ludwik Sokołowski, a gymnasium was built to a design by Stefan Narębski, with separate wings for boys and girls.
Reference: Art Album “Objects on show”. Compiled by G. Jankevičiūtė. Vilnius, ELLEX VALIUNAS, 2017, P. 244.
Published: Art Album “Objects on show”. Compiled by G. Jankevičiūtė. Vilnius, ELLEX VALIUNAS, 2017, P. 245, Cat. No. 26, P. 266; "Kaunas-Vilnius 1918-1945”, Advokatų kontoros „Ellex Valiunas“ meno kolekcija. Sudarytojos D. Barcytė, dr. I. Burbaitė. Vilnius, 2021, P. 165.