Theatre of the past seen through costumes and sets
Marc Chagall Art Centre in Vitebsk hosts Mstislav Dobuzhinsky: Theatrical Costumes and Sets exhibition, displaying around 140 works from the Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Film Museum
According to Director of the Marc Chagall Museum in Vitebsk, Lyudmila Khmelnitskaya, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky was one of Marc Chagall’s first teachers. Dobuzhinsky’s works are kept in major collections worldwide but can be difficult to acquire for exhibition. Accordingly, the offer from Vilnius was extremely welcome. Now, Vitebsk residents and guests have the opportunity to enjoy the creativity of the outstanding artist.
The Director of the Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Film Museum, Regina Lopiene, initiated the exhibition loan, having first begun liaising with the Marc Chagall Museum in 2005. That year, Vilnius hosted an exhibition loaned by the Vitebsk museum. Dobuzhinsky’s works demonstrate ably the importance of set design and costume to a performance.
Mstislav Dobuzhinsky created sets for 38 plays shown at the State Theatre of Lithuania, as well as unique costumes, designed to depict some element of the character’s nature or appearance. He worked in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Paris (with Sergey Dyagilev’s theatrical company) and produced sets and costumes for performances produced by Nikolay Yevreinov, Fiodor Komissarzhevsky, Vsevolod Meyerhold, and Konstantin Stanislavsky. Dobuzhinsky was one of the most active artists working with professional theatres in the early 20th century.
The Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Film Museum holds over 1,000 works by the artist: the most valuable collection of his sets and his biggest collection of theatre art works in Lithuania. In 2009, these works gained status as part of the nation’s documentary heritage. The collection covers the most significant and mature works, created for the Lithuanian theatre: some are on show at the Marc Chagall Art Centre.