small-gallery-vilnius-lithuanian souvenirsOne of the greatest Lithuanian souvenirs is the eye-catching art from a unique gallery in Vilnius. The setting of this family owned "Small Gallery (Mažoji galerija)" recalls the kind of quiet suburban lanes and airy self-contained neighborhoods found in countless European cities, well away from the noisy city center.

Yet this delightful gallery is only a 10-minute walk from the Lithuanian parliament building in Vilnius, amid the colorful wooden houses of the Žvėrynas district. Although essentially just one room, its floor-to-ceiling windows create a sense of space and light so that it doesn't feel cramped, despite the sheer number of objects n display in their dazzling variety. In much te same way as the acclaimed Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark, in all seasons the clearly visible foliage outside adorns the art so that snow compliments sculpture, falling leaves grace canvas, ivy tumbles across vases.

Familiar Lithuanian naïve motifs such as angels and birds are outnumbered by far less familiar beasts - spiny turtles with four heads, walking fish with Egyptian masks, flying bronze horses, voluptuous ceramic doves. It's always very quirky, but tastefully so. Abstract and neo-expressionist paintings line the walls and lean against each other on the floor. Sprawling trays of handmade jewelery lie beside the cash register. It's almost guaranteed you won't leave without buying something. Lithuanian souvenirs just don't get better.

Address Latvių g. 19a, Vilnius 08113

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