History of Palanga Amber Museum
Former mansion of Count Feliksas Tiškevičius, where Palanga Amber Museum was established in 1963

Palanga Amber Museum (the branch of Lithuanian Art Museum (LAM)) was established in the former mansion of counts Tiškevičiai in August 3rd of 1963. Palanga Amber Museum is developing its field as an institution accumulating amber exhibits, centre for amber research and dissemination of the information. Museum offers to visit not only permanent exposition and temporary exhibitions but also can hold scientific conferences, cultural evenings, concerts and educational activities.

In August 13th of 1970 the museum had its millionth visitor. Counting from 1963 to 2013, 8 861 530 guests visited Palanga Amber Museum. Today the collection of museum’s exhibits consists of more than 30 000 exhibits.

In 1963 the museum shared Palanga mansion of Count Feliksas Tiškevičius with the Artist House. The first thematic plan of Amber Museum’s exhibits was prepared by director of Lithuanian Art Museum at the time Pranas Gudynas. Subsequent exposition was expanded by a new director of LAM, art critic Romualdas Budrys.

The first exhibition in Palanga Amber Museum covered only 96 square meters. There were 478 exhibits at display. Some of the exhibits were obtained from the Institute of History of Lithuanian Academy of Science and other museums on the deposit rights.

In 1996 the area of expositions enhanced to 750 square meters and the number of exhibits increased to 4500. The project of updated exposition was prepared by Romualdas Budrys collaborating with archaeologist Rimutė Rimantienė and geologist Vladas Katinas. The exposition is thematically divided into two segments: the formation and composition of amber during the evolution and cultural history aspects of amber. The exposition was modernized yearly and worked until 2011. Then it was supplemented by 500 exhibits after the acquisition of new showcases, while in the first floor of the mansion historical interiors were restored.

During the period of 2010 – 2014 the mansion of counts Tiškevičiai was under reconstruction and maintenance. In 2014, in the ground floor of the mansion a minor exhibition of amber and portable exhibition ’50 years of Palanga Amber Museum’ were temporary held. In the second half of 2014, the maintenance of exposition halls was completed, former expositions of the museum were reorganized and renewed.

Archaeological collection of Palanga amber museum

The entire archaeological collection of Palanga Amber Museum consists of the several collections of archaeological artefacts. Collection of amber articles of the Stone Age, which were found in Šventoji during the archaeological researches by Dr. habil. Rimutė Rimantienė are stored and displayed in the exposition. The other large collection of the Iron Age archaeological artefacts consists of the various archaeological material gathered on the expeditions through shattered coastal burial sites. These expeditions were initiated by Lithuanian Art Museum. Archaeological artefacts (of the 1st – 12th century) from various burial sites (Palanga, Monciškės (Šventoji, Palanga town), Rūdaičiai, Kiauleikiai, Jazdai, Užpelkiai, Kašučiai, Lazdininkai (Kalnalaukis), Ėgliškiai–Anduliai, Gintarai, Laiviai (all in Kretinga District), Girkaliai, Aukštkiemiai, Laistai, Mockaičiai, Daukšaičiai, Mikužiai, Skomantai, Dvyliai, Stragnai (all in Klaipėda District), Nikėlai, Paulaičiai, Jurgaičiai, Vilkų Kampas (all in Šilutė District), Gintališkiai (Plungė District) are exhibited.
Museum also preserves the part of the archaeological artefacts gathered during the excavations of Užpelkiai and Dvyliai burial sites in 1987, 1988 and 1990.

Some of the most interesting artefacts are displayed copies of amber articles from the collection of R. Klebs. Highest qualification restorer Bronė Kunkulienė of Pranas Gudynas Center for Restoration recreated these artefacts on the basis of remaining descriptions and illustrations.

Interesting samples of the Stone Age amber articles has so-called ‘Palanga’s Treasure‘, accumulated by Feliksas Tiškevičius in 1905-1907, now displayed in the museum. This collection consists of the Neolithic and the Iron Ages articles, which were gathered in the coastal swamps when the excavation of amber began. One part of the collection (149 articles) count Tiškevičius handed over to the Society of Friends of Science in Vilnius. In the present day this part of the collection is preserved in the National Museum of Lithuania.

At the beginning of the 20th century the collection of archaeological articles further accumulated by count Feliksas Tiškevičius was exhibited in Paris, where it attracted a lot of attention. After the death of F. Tiškevičius, in 1936 countess Antanina Tiškevičienė handed over 148 objects to the newly established Kretinga Museum. Subsequently, the collection was stored in the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, from 1960 in Kaunas State Museum of History. From 1963 this rare collection of amber articles is exhibited in the newly established Palanga Amber Museum on the deposit rights.