With the Ambassador Jurgis Baltrušaitis: a book for notes and thoughts

Authors: Agnė Dautartaitė-Krutulė, Vaiva Frančiakaitė, Renata Lenkutienė, Elžbieta Upė Rozanovaitė, Kornelija Žalpytė

Client: Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the Russian Federation

"With the Ambassador Jurgis Baltrušaitis: a book for notes and thoughts" is a trilingual publication dedicated to the remembrance of the Ambassador, poet and cultural cultivator J. Baltrušaitis (1873-1944) commemorating the centenary of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the Russian Federation. Personal J. Baltrušaitis belongings from the archives, such as excerpts from letters, poetry manuscripts, photographs, and political documents are presented in a book. The visual material is in the original 1:1 scale. Quotations from personal letters are composed in the original language; in the next opening, translations supplement them, creating a visually appealing web of see-through citations. J. Baltrušaitis' touch guides the design decisions of the publication. Fragments of the tactile texture of his desk and the wood inlay ornaments of the cabinet furniture that once furnished his office are used for the cover and the book block, thus immersing the reader in the visual atmosphere reminiscent of the start of the 20th century. The book size (245 x 345 mm) was chosen according to a popular notebook size for that time. The publication format merges the lines between a table book, a representative album, a book of memoirs and notes while housing a collection of testimonies of J. Baltrušaitis' cultural and political activity. The design of this book leaves plenty of space to generate a dialogue between the historical figure and the contemporary reader of today. Between fragmentary and archival documents attesting to a great cultural heritage left behind by the ambassador himself, the reader's inscribed words or images seal the arising relationship. Likewise, the snapshots of the poets' personal life echoed in the scattered illustrations throughout the book confirm that new recordings are encouraged, giving the freedom for the reader to create and be inspired.