Adolfas Valeška

(1905 - 1994)


Adolfas Valeška was born on March 15, 1905 in Kybartai near Vilkaviškis. He graduated from Kaunas Art School in 1928. Afterwards he began working as a church decorator, moving on to co-found a museum of religious art in Kaunas. From 1939 to 1944 he worked as a director of Vilnius Art Museum. During this period his work was exhibited in a number of exhibitions, including the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris, 1935; the International Press Exhibition at Vatican, 1935; and the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Berlin, 1937, where he earned a medal for designing the Lithuanian Pavilion.
Anticipating the Soviet occupation of Lithuania at the end of World War II, in 1944 he emigrated first to West Germany and then to the United States, where he established a studio in Chicago. He designed and executed a number of stained glass works and mosaics, as well as acting as stage designer for Lithuanian Opera Company of Chicago.
After Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, he returned to the country of his birth, where he died at the age of 89 in 1994.


Adolfas Valeška was a stained glass artist, painter, stage designer and museum director who worked in Lithuania and in Chicago, Illinois. His creative work includes: mosaics and stained glass at St. Philomena's Church in Chicago, stained glass windows at O'Hare Airport, Chicago, stained glass windows at Congregation Rodfei Zedek in Chicago, stained glass windows at the former Marshall Field's, Chicago, stained glass at Holy Cross Church, Dayton, Ohio, four oil paintings that depict scenes from Lithuanian and American history at Holy Cross Church in Chicago, freestanding windows, part of an ongoing exhibition at the Smith Museum of Stained Glass, Navy Pier, Chicago, stained glass, pulpit, and paintings at St. Casimir Lithuanian Roman Catholic Church in Sioux City, Iowa.