For Freedom Lithuanian American Support for Lithuania's Independence and Recognition

A poster image from 1922 expressing Lithuania's gratitude for America's recognition of Lithuania's independence and statehood
A poster image from 1922 expressing Lithuania’s gratitude for America’s recognition of Lithuania’s independence and statehood

In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Lithuania’s Independence, the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture invites you to the opening of a new historical exhibit: “For Freedom: Lithuanian American Support for Lithuania’s Independence and Recognition”. The exhibit explores Lithuanian Americans’ passionate and energetic support for the cause of Lithuania’s independence one hundred years ago.  Using photographs, documents, publications, and other historical artifacts, the exhibition gives an overview of Lithuania’s fate at the dawn of the twentieth century as a subjugated part of the Russian Empire; briefly portrays the Lithuanian American communities in America; and summarizes their significant cultural, political, and financial achievements.

The exhibition’s central focus is the vital role played by Lithuanian Americans as their native land seized a unique and complex opportunity to end its 125-year Russian subjugation. This exhibition demonstrates that Lithuanian Americans’ support for freedom in their native land did not end with the declared independence in 1918 nor with its recognition by the United States in 1922. In fact, as the exhibition shows, Lithuanian Americans supported their native land’s recurrent struggles to achieve freedom and indepenendence for most of the twentieth century.

Drawing on materials in the Balzekas Museum as well as public and private national and regional archives and collections, the exhibition centralizes the presence of historical documents to prove that this century-long struggle for freedom was powered by ideas and ideals expressed in words and actions. 

Never before shown in Chicago, the original petitions by Lithuanian Americans to the  President of the United States as well as Petras Rimsa’s iconic sculpture “the Ploughman” will be on exhibit. 

Everyone is warmly invited to intend the opening reception on March 10 at 2 pm.

Exhibition Opening

This program is partially supported by grants from the following organizations:

  • Lithuanian Foundation, Inc.
  • Illinois Arts Council

The Balzekas Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of these sponsors and other private donors.