figures and faces, disproportion in the depicted objects––all this denotes recent [art] for M. Band. [...] Landscapes––not bad, but figures utterly impossible.9
Band had two one-man shows in Kaunas, one in 1925 and the other in 1932. Most of his exhibitions were held in Berlin, Paris, and New York. In contrast to its predecessor, Band’s 1932 show in Kaunas (FIG. 1) received a very flattering response from the public, the press, and art critics. Famous politicians and art and cultural figures participated in the exhibition’s opening, well-known Jewish public figures also being among the guests. Lithuanian, Russian, and Polish newspapers and magazines published full-scale features on his works and background, as well as advertisements to the exhibition. Critics praised his works as “marked by supreme artistic qualityand profoundness,"10 "irreproachable."11 A Lithuanian News reporter wrote:
Speaking of M. Band, we observe the perfect unity of external form and internal content while in most works of the artist one prevails over the other. However, artistic perfection is obtained when both elements form a synthesis. M. Band displays a full mastery of technique, which suggests imposing opportunities regarding form; nevertheless, he does not strive for spectacular effect, but concentrates on the inward, deeper content of his works. That’s what is most important, and he’s really good at that.12
The only somewhat critical response was by H. Kairiukshtyte-Jacyniene who accused the artist of self-advertisement. She wrote:
Judging by the press, we could expect more "from a famous Parisian artist" as he found it necessary to inform Kaunas society. On the other hand, he certainly displays a certain artistic level. [...] In the artist’s creations we do not observe a diversity of artistic goals: he refrains from large formats or large scale compositions, mostly doing joint portraits and unsophisticated fragments of nature.13
Though Band rarely visited Lithuania, he did not alienate himself from its cultural life and had many friends in artistic circles.
Neemiya Arbit Blatt was the most distinguished and productive Jewish artist of the late thirties in Lithuania. His early works and those of his contemporaries were showcased in the survey exhibitions of the Kaunas Art School. In 1926, at the age of eighteen, Arbit Blatt participated for the first time in the Lithuanian Artists' Spring Show with two works--Still Life and A Type of a Philosopher.