The Life and Research of Marija Gimbutas in Sixteen Pages

To mark the birth centenary of the world-renowned archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, the Wroblewski Library assembled an exhibition aiming to display her documents and photographs from the Library’s holdings.  Due to the pandemic restrictions, the exhibition had to be changed to a virtual format only.  Told in a few words, the life story of Marija Gimbutas is as follows. She completed studies in archaeology at Vilnius University and escaped to the West with her family during World War II, finally settling in the United States.  Excellent academic preparation in Lithuanian universities, fluency in numerous languages and outstanding personal achievements brought to Marija Gimbutas recognition as one of the most prominent researchers in the archaeology and mythology of Europe. She developed an original theory of the origin of Indo-Europeans, including the Balts.  Owing to her works, materials on the archaeology and mythology of the Balts became part of global archaeological knowledge.  The present exhibition will highlight contributions made by Marija Gimbutas to a number of research fields. Even though Marija Gimbutas is remembered as neither a pagan nor a feminist, her works served as an inspiration for Lithuanian pagan movements such as the Romuvians, for devotees of Lithuanian ethnic culture, and for the feminist movement in the United States.  The present exhibition will be less focused on Marija Gimbutas’ personal life. In this way, more intrigue will be left in store for those who take interest in this exceptional personality. The Wroblewski Library is a perfect place to learn more about her.  The Library’s Manuscript Department holds large collections of documents related to Marija Gimbutas herself (F339), her husband Jurgis Gimbutas (F351), cousin Meilė Lukšienė (F391) and uncle Augustinas Janulaitis (F267); the Rare Books Department, too, holds the Marija Gimbutas Collection. Numerous photos of the celebrated researcher can be found in our photograph collection.  This exhibition will feature unique documents unveiling the life and work of Marija Gimbutas and will trace her connections with Lithuania.
You are cordially invited to visit our virtual exhibition.