Institute of Art Research

Dr. (hp) Rūta Janonienė


Art historian, organizer and curator of the old art exhibitions

Research interests: resources of artistic culture in GDL, sacral and secular art and associated phenomena of GDL in the 15–19th c., the heritage of Franciscan Observants (Bernardines) in GDL, church and monastery complexes, programmes of decor iconography; artworks by professors and students of Vilnius Art School in the 19th century and the continuity of its traditions.

b. 1960, Vilnius; lives and works in Vilnius. Since 1994 she has worked in VAA Institute of Art Research, 1994-2008 as a director, since 2003 as a senior researcher. 1983 graduated from the Lithuanian State Institute of Arts with a degree in art history and theory. 1994 defended her PhD theses in art criticism “The Work by Jonas Rustemas and his Disciples in the 1st part of the 20th Century” at Vilnius Academy of Arts (prepared independently). 2008 she passed the habilitation procedure in art criticism at the Lithuanian Institute of Culture, Philosophy and Art.

1983–1989 worked as a researcher in the Lithuanian Art Museum; 1989–1990 in the Department of Art History at the Institute of History; 1990–1994 in the Institute of Culture and Arts. Since 1993 has done research and organizational work at Vilnius Academy of Arts, as well as participated in the study process: has been giving lectures on Vilnius Art School to master students of art criticism, from 2016 cooperates with the Department of Monument Management, supervising course papers and final theses, supervising and reviewing doctoral works. 2000–2001 was the Head of the Doctoral Studies Department of VAA, and has been involved in the department’s processes ever since as a supervisor and opponent of doctoral research papers. 2007–2011 was a member of the VAA senate.

Rūta Janonienė participated in various scientific projects, has published reports in academic conferences in Lithuania and abroad, curated exhibitions, radio programs, contributing to Lithuanian TV broadcasts on Lithuanian painters of the 19th century. She co-curated the international anniversary exhibition “Vilnius Art School and its Traditions” (1996, Vilnius–Torun), and organized exhibitions “Christianity in Lithuanian Art” (2000–2005), “Jan Rustem: Painter and Professor” (2012) and „Under the Italian sun: Lithuanian Art in the end of 18th – first part of 20 century“ (2017)  in collaboration with the Lithuanian Art Museum.

2011 she received a science award from the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences for the series of works “Heritage of Lithuanian Bernardines: The Research on Architecture and Art”.

1999–2009 she was a member of the Publishing Commission of the Lithuanian Millennium Programme, 2013-2017 a member of the Lithuanian Council for Culture, 2012-2018 a member of the Lithuanian Science Award Committee of the LithuanianAcademy of Science. 2016 elected as a true member of the Lithuanian Academy of Science. Since 1995 she is a member of Lithuanian Association of Art Historians.

Her research interests cover wide area: compiling data for biographies of painters, discovering lost works, working with identification and attributing problems and analysing iconography.