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Collection of Glass Negatives by Kazimieras Bogumila

The collection of glass negatives by Kazimieras Bogumila consists of 112 items, each of them sized 10x15 cm. Made around 1935, they feature images of Varniai town, its houses and yards.

52 and then 60 glass negatives were discovered among many other negatives during the reconstructions of the Samogitian Museum Alka in, respectively, 1991 and in 1999. They were sealed in envelopes with a written, in the same handwriting, inscription „VARNIAI“. The amount of information varies from one envelope to another.

The recollections from his contemporaries, collected in 2001, tell us that Kazimieras Bogumila was born around 1905. He earned a living by taking photos; at home, he had a photo laboratory where, by the wall, he would make passport photos. He would also take assignments as a photographer on various occasions. His photographs are imprinted with his name and place, i.e. “Foto K. Bogumila. Varniai”. Sometime around 1930, his mother with a younger son Vincas left for Argentina. The photographer stayed in Varniai for a while before joining his family in faraway Argentina in 1939.

When World War II erupted, the director of the Samogitian Museum Alka Pranas Genys took care to hide and preserve most of the exhibits that were subject to danger during the war. The collection of Bogumila’s glass negatives had likely been hidden together with other exhibits and discovered only 50 years later. Being a unique source of knowledge concerning history, architecture, and urban and ethnographic heritage, the photographic collection has enriched the so far very scarce iconography of Varniai town. In 1941, the old Varniai was burnt down, whereas its townspeople, especially Jewish, faced their tragic fate.

Kazimieras Bogumila

Unknown town

Ca. 1935

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