Soviet Ceramics: From Jubilee Vases to Bolek and Lolek Ceramics

Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis




ceramics, vase, copying, design, Soviet period


The aim of the research presented in this article is to analyse festive vases created in the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic and to offer a new take on Bolek and Lolek ceramics, while discovering the points of intersection between the propaganda art of the Lithuanian SSR and the propaganda-enter- tainment life of the People’s Republic of Poland. The shapes of the vessels and the colours used by ceramic artists in the Soviet period are explored. The artistic research is presented in the form of text and accompanying photographs. In preparing this article, the author referred to the methods of literary, compara- tive and descriptive analysis, as well as contextual and social analysis, while in his artistic research, he used the method of remake.

The conducted research has resulted in six conclusions:

1. In the period under discussion, the ideological aspect in applied art was directly related to commitment to the people. At the same time, commitment to the people in art meant a possibility to replicate works, the simplicity of means, the monumentality of shapes, and interpretation of traditional forms of ceramics.

2. Local clay was not resistant to higher temperatures, and could not be used for producing works that would withstand intensive use.

3. Local ceramic artists, working with local raw materials, were doomed to create decorative ceramics.

4. Generally established subordination that manifested itself as dedovschina (“grandfatherism”) and pakazukha (official art), composite parts of the Soviet system, influenced the nature of art and created conditions to favour certain artists.

5. Soviet Lithuanian ceramic artists experienced the influence of international artists in various ways: through the press of that time, travelling exhibitions, and trips abroad.

6. Copying without the original was a widespread art practice, occurring in design as well.

Author Biography

Rokas Dovydėnas, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania

Rokas Dovydėnas is a Doctor of Arts, an interdisciplinary artist and a curator. Since 1994, he has been taking part in exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad, has held thirteen solo exhibitions, and has curated nine exhibitions. A member of the Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association (and its Chair between 2016 and 2019). From 2014 to 2020, he taught art and design disciplines at the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences and Mykolas Romeris University. Since 2018, he is a lecturer at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. The artist’s works have been acquired by the M. K. Čiurlionis Natio- nal Art Museum, Grassi Museum in Leipzig, and private individuals.



How to Cite

Dovydėnas, R. (2020). Soviet Ceramics: From Jubilee Vases to Bolek and Lolek Ceramics: Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (100), 197–229.