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Dovilė Dagienė – Botanizerka

Dovilė Dagienė – Botanizerka

14.06 - 07.07.2024
Kamienica Hilarego Majewskiego, Włókiennicza 11
14.06, 18:00
Mon closed
Tue-Thu 11:00-17:00
Fri 11:00-19:00
Sat 12:00-19:00
Sun 12:00-18:00
free entrance

Dovilė Dagienė

The first individual exhibition in Poland by the outstanding Lithuanian artist Dovilė Dagienė, dedicated to the memory of Polish and Lithuanian Jews murdered in Ponary and the story of a Holocaust survivor associated with Vilnius and Łódź, prof. Jakub Mowszowicz, who initiated the creation of the Łódź Botanical Garden in 1946.


Botanizerka is an exhibition of new works – photographs, objects and installations – by Dovilė Dagienė, one of the most famous Lithuanian artists. Dagienė, associated with the Academy of Fine Arts in Vilnius, has been involved in, among others, for years: the memory and light sensitivity of plants, which she collects, documents, sketches and exhibits in the form of formally subtle installations. The starting point of the exhibition connecting Vilnius with Łódź, Lithuania with Poland, shown for the first time in the Hilary Majewski House, is the story of prof. Jakub Mowszowicz and his students. Before the war, specializing in the flora of the Vilnius area, especially Ponary, Mowszowicz was not only a naturalist, but also an outstanding educator devoted to working with children. As a Pole of Jewish origin, he was saved from the Holocaust thanks to the help of friends, including members of the artist’s family. After the war, Mowszowicz moved to Łódź, where he also worked as a botanist associated with the University of Łódź, the Botanical Garden and the Polish Academy of Sciences. Work on Dovilė Dagienė’s personal project involved not only reconstructing Mowszowicz’s biography and his relationship with the artist’s family (including correspondence), but also following his fascination with plants, working with children and organizational work. Traveling many times to Łódź, to the Botanical Garden and to the cemetery where Mowszowicz is buried, Dagienė combined the work of memory and archives with artistic work on plants. Botanizerka is a common name for a tube used by botanists going into the field to collect interesting specimens of plants. For Dovilė Dagienė, a word untranslatable into Lithuanian and English that describes a specific object becomes a tool of commemoration, a metaphor for preserving fragments of destroyed ecosystems, traces of history, photos of people who have been dead for years and forgotten communities.


Curator: Adam Mazur
Collaboration: Vilnius Academy of Arts
Honorary Patronage: Lithuanian Embassy in Poland, Honorary Consule of Lithuania in Poland Jakub Szwajcowski


This project has received funding from the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT), agreement No S-PD-22-75



The tenement of Hilary Majewski, Włókiennicza 11

DID YOU KNOW that Włókiennicza (Textile Street) was once named Kamienna (Stone Street)?

Hilary Majewski’s tenement house at Włókiennicza 11 was built between 1883 and 1886. It was designed by Hilary Majewski, the leading architect of Łódź at the time of the city’s most remarkable development. He designed, among others, the factory empire of Izrael Poznański, today’s Manufaktura, along with the grand palace (the first design of the building), but also the palace of Juliusz Heinzl at Piotrkowska 104, the House of the Credit Society at Pomorska 21, Piotrkowska 77, and many more. 

The tenement house at Włókiennicza Street was a residential and office building. In Majewski’s time, the street was called Kamienna (Stone Street). Laid out around 1880 and paved with fieldstones, it was a beautiful street back then, with lavishly decorated houses along its sides. Of course, the city’s greatest architect would not build his home in the middle of nowhere! That part of the city was also very Jewish, with as many as seven synagogues. The street was renamed to Włókiennicza (Textile Street) in 1957. Old, unrenovated houses lost most of their splendour and the whole area turned ugly, or even somewhat slum. However, in 2022, the street’s revitalisation project was completed. Make sure to check it out – each house is different, with its own character.