VYTAUTAS KAZIMIERAS JONYNAS (1907–1997)
Vytautas Kazimieras Jonynas was born in 1907 in Lithuania. He studied art at the Art School of Kaunas and took courses from the noted Lithuanian art instructors Adomas Varnas and Adomas Galdikas. In 1931 Jonynas went to Paris where he studied woodengraving, book illustrating, wood sculpture and furniture design at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers and Ecole Boulle.
Jonynas has an impressive teaching career which started in 1935 at the Art School of Kaunas, Lithuania. From 1941 to 1944 he was director and art teacher at the Institute of Art and Applied Art in Kaunas. In 1946 he founded the Foreign Artists' Institute of Fine Arts in Freiburg, Germany. He was director and teacher at the Institute until 1950. Before immigrating to the United States in 1951, he was a docent for Graphic Art at the Art and Architectural School in Mainz, Germany, and Art Consultant to the French High Commission in Germany. From 1951 to 1957 he taught art at the Catan-Rose Institute of Fine Arts in Jamaica, N.Y. and from 1957 to 1973 he was art teacher at Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y.
Jonynas was asked to design a set of stamps for the French zones in Baden, Rheinland-Pfalz, the Saar and Wuertenberg. He created 35 postage stamp designs, from which 57 stamps with varying prices were placed in circulation in 1947 and 1948. They have been described as the most artistic stamps ever issued in Germany. Later, he produced two stamps for the Vatican, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Casimir, patron saint of Lithuania. They were issued December 14, 1959. Jonynas is the first American artist who produced stamps for the Vatican.
Stamps designed by V.K.Jonynas:
Picture on FDC used from wood carving by V.K.Jonynas