Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture

  • BALZEKAS MUSEUM OF LITHUANIAN CULTURE

  • 6500 S. PULASKI ROAD
    CHICAGO, IL 60629
  • TEL.: 773.582.6500
  • FAX:773.582.5133
  • info@balzekasmuseum.org
  • Open 10 AM - 4 PM Daily
  • Closed Christmas, Easter &
    New Year's Day
  • Directions

Permanent Exhibitions


Lithuania Through the Ages

Baltic Amber with embedded ant - Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
Baltic amber with
embedded ant

The main exhibit transports visitors through centuries of fascinating events in the history of a country, which during the Middle Ages was one of the largest and most influential in all of Europe.  Visitors can supplement their knowledge of Lithuania watching a film on Lithuanian culture, history, and present times in the Museum's Audio-Visual Room.

Children's Museum

The mission and goal of the Children's Museum is to offer children and their families an environment where they learn about medieval history and the folk culture of rural 19th century Lithuania. More...

The Women's Guild Room

The Women's Guild Room contains beautifully displayed Lithuanian costumes, amber jewelry, textiles, dolls, folk art and an exhibition featuring outstanding women who greatly contributed to the history and culture of Lithuania. More...

Chronicle of Violence: Soviet Deportations from Lithuania to Siberia



Chronicle of Violence
Our newest permanent exhibit, the Chronicle of Violence, features vividly presented archival materials and information, including photographs and documents with explanations in English and Lithuanian about the history of Soviet deportations from Lithuania during and after World War II. This exhibit was produced by the Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius, Lithuania, and is an excellent resource for educators teaching 20th century European and/or Lithuanian history, World War II, war crimes, and/or Soviet history. The panels were featured during the yearlong Hope & Spirit series of exhibits and events marking the 70th anniversary of the start of Soviet deportations and are now part of the Museum's permanent collection. Also on display are photographs by the late Lithuanian filmmaker/photographer and deportation survivor Juozas Kazlauskas, who in the late 1980s travelled to remote Soviet regions with other survivors to document gulag prisons and gravesites.

War after War


War After War bannerWar After War: Armed Anti-Soviet Resistance in Lithuania in 1944 - 1953 recounts the crimes of the Soviet occupation and the fate of Lithuanian freedom fighters and victims of Soviet genocide.  Although one of the biggest and longest guerilla wars in 20th-century Europe, the war fought by Lithuanian partisans is still largely unknown, due to the suppression of information by Soviet authorities.  From 1940 - 1958, the Soviets imprisoned over 200,000 Lithuanian residents. Many of them became disabled or died from starvation, exhaustion, and disease, in places of exile and imprisonment. Over 50,000 were directly engaged in the guerilla war.  The Soviet occupation lasted from 1944 - 1993, when the last Russian troops withdrew from Lithuania.

War After War combines material from The Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius, Lithuania and the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture. The exhibition is made of banners showcasing aspects of the partisan war; the military organization; every-day life and activities of fighters; photographs and documents from the period of the guerilla war; and articles documenting the lives of some freedom fighters and their deported family members.  Artifacts from the Balzekas Museum's collections, such as uniforms, books, patriotic sculptures, and flags supplement the exhibition. Banner text is in English and Lithuanian.

Fine Art

Numerous distinguished local and international artists have been featured in the Museum's exhibitions. Over the years, works my major Lithuanian artists have been added to the Museum's collection. The Museum is a proud sponsor of Lithuanian art in Chicago.


Valeska Stained Glass

The third floor Gallery of the Balzekas Museum is used for exhibitions and concerts. The focal point of this room is a magnificent stained glass window by Lithuanian artist Adolfas Valeška (1905 - 1994).  The exhibition "No Home To Go To: The Story of Baltic Displaced Persons, 1944-52" is currently on view in the Museum's 3rd floor Gallery.

Current Exhibition:

"No Home To Go To: The Story of Baltic Displaced Persons, 1944-52"



Through December, 2016, at the Balzekas Museum and on tour in other cities in Canada and the United States - Read more on the official "No Home To Go To" exhibition website

To commemorate 70 years since the mass westward flight of refugees from the war-torn Baltic republics, in 2014 the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, together with the Latvian Folk Art Museum and the Chicago Estonian House, developed and launched "No Home To Go To: The Story of Baltic Displaced Persons, 1944-52". The exhibition and accompanying programs and events (film viewings, lectures, book tours, et al) document and recount the experiences of DP Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanians during the war; time spent in DP Camps afterwards; and subsequent immigration and contributions to the U.S., Canada, and other host countries, as well as the homelands they left behind.

Curated by Irena Chambers with the assistance of Rita Janz and Karile Vaitkute of the Balzekas Museum, this acclaimed and moving exhibition is compiled from questionnaires and memorabilia submitted by Baltic DPs or their family members. Organizers encourge Baltic DPs to continue to complete and submit the exhibition questionnaire to ensure this important history is documented and preserved for future generations.

Read more about "No Home To Go To", download the Baltic DP questionnaire, and/or support the ongoing exhibition tour and programs on the exhibition's official website:

DisplacedPersons.org >>>

The Balzekas Museum gratefully acknowledges exhibition donors and sponsors, including:

  • Lithuanian Council for Culture
  • Illinois Arts Council
  • Kazickas Family Foundation
  • Lithuanian Foundation, Inc.
  • Illinois Humanities Council
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania
  • Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in Chicago
  • Women’s Guild of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
  • Latvian Foundation, Inc.
  • Cultural Foundation of the World Federation of Free Latvians
  • National Archives of Estonia

Private Donors

  • Irene and Reid Chambers
  • Tom and Cathy Lileikis
  • Elena Deckys
  • Jonas Dovydėnas
  • Gražina and James P. Liautaud
  • George A. Paulikas

The Balzekas Museum is grateful for the generous support of many other private donors, all of whom are listed within the Balzekas Museum exhibition.

This exhibition was developed by the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in collaboration with the Chicago Estonian House, the Latvian Folk Art Museum, and the Lithuanian Emigration Institute of Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania.