The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum (VGSJM) is a national institution under the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania that collects, investigates, restores and presents to the society in different ways the historical, material and spiritual heritage of Lithuanian Jews, traditional and modern Jewish objects of art and documents and objects connected with the Holocaust, with the aim to fill the vast cultural gap in the narrative of Lithuanian history and the worldview of its inhabitants resulting from the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. The goals of the museum are:
to enhance and cherish democratic and humanitarian values in society, based on the examples of global Jewish history and the tragedy of the Holocaust in Lithuania and Europe;
to introduce society to famous Jews of Lithuanian descent who played an important role in Lithuanian and world history, culture and art;
to develop the artistic taste of visitors by offering opportunities to get acquainted with the unique works of talented Jewish artists, including paintings, music and literature.
The woodcarving tradition acquires unexpected shapes in the piece by the early 20th century Jewish folk artist Aaron Chait from Kelmė – “The Throne of King Solomon”. This masterpiece, created in the 3rd decade of the 20th century, is a multi-figural dimensional composition, a sculptural installation incorporating architectonic elements, carvings of different animals, and over two hundred dressed dolls. In the context of Lithuanian Jewish art this composition is unique.
Also, artworks by famouse painters Theo Tobiasse, Emmanuel Mané-Katz, Pinchus Kremegne, Max Band and others are part of the permanent collection of the VGSJM. Museum’s writing collection consists of books, press, manuscripts and posters. A unique and most valuable set of items among these groups are books from the Romm publishing house and ghetto documents including handwritten diaries.