Traditional classic Lithuanian folk art is country person's creative work, blossomed out in varied forms and answering life, work and spiritual needs, taking part in rituals, traditions, economic activity, including all life spheres. In the second half of the 20th century, after historical changes, unstable public and economic structures, folk creative work breaks away more from the country side. A large number of today's folk artists - city and town inhabitants and their creative work, handicrafts, join into city life, culture and art process. Therefore it is more or less usual that today's folk creative works, are perceived as work of persons without higher academic studies and merging one way or another with folk art traditions and extending them.
In every branch of folk art in the second half of the 20th century, there have been specific changes in the content of works of art, design, color, form, technology, function and in other spheres. A portion of these changes was due to objective causes - changes in work and living conditions, factory production which changed traditional handicrafts. Part of these changes was due to conditions of Soviet occupation of the country. Some of the works, like applied wood carvings ( spindles, towel holders, wooden instruments for beating linen and others ), even though they lost their practical usage, they remained as souvenirs, interior decorative items. Regardless, during Soviet years, folk articles were perceived as reflection and witness of national identity. 
Until now, have remained all traditional classic folk art divisions and categories, each one has lived through in its own fashion. 
The abundance of folk works, two distinct layers as separate : fine arts ( paintings, graphics, sculptures, to which is allotted the small architecture, closely related with sculpture, and in our days - glued cut paper patterns ) and applied arts( wood, metal, clay, amber and other works ) branches. The so called common folk art articles used during calendar holidays, in various rituals, related to traditions ( palms, straw gardens, Easter eggs, masks ) is distinctive culture of the branch of applied works.
Folk art works first appeared in exhibits at the end of the 19th century. This was antique, agricultural, folk occupations and similar expositions, whose part was folk art works. Later at the beginning of this century, various folk works ( weavings, woodworks, sculptures ) collections were exhibited in foreign countries, they were set to represent Lithuanian culture and art, their archaism and originality ( folk works exhibited in 1900 at the Paris Wold Exhibit, in 1905 at the Tilsit Trade Show, in 1908 at the Berlin Lithuanian Folk Art Show, in 1913 at the Russian II Trade Show of Small Scale Works ), attracted specialists and spectators. During years of independence, between wars, the presentation of Lithuanian art works in foreign lands continued ( mentionable exhibits : 1925, Decorative Art Exhibit in Monza Italy, 1927 in Paris, 1931 a review by M.K.Èiurlionis gallery exhibit in Scandinavian countries, 1935 Baltic Folk Art Exhibit at the Trocadero Ethnographic Museum in Paris ) . Exhibitions are intensifying in Lithuania. Various exhibits are organized by the Palace of Agriculture, other organizations which have the duty to uphold folk art traditions, encourage folk artists. Very significant exhibits took place at M.K.Èiurlionis art gallery ( in 1921 of works collected during expeditions, in 1927 of aprons and wood carvings ), - carefully selected, they create a basis to explain most characteristic folk art works' features, forms, embellishment traditions. It is noted, that folk works were exhibited at the beginning of this century, during Lithuania's folk art shows, this maintained a natural connection between professional academic and folk art works.
After the war years, the exhibits were more intensified and in the nineties they reached their apex - only official exhibit compilation fixes more than 200 shows of various dimensions and nature folk art annually. They are regional, republic and personal expositions. Largest occurring in several stages, republic folk art expositions, during song festivals - every five years until the Renaissance of Lithuania, and now every four years. During Soviet times, the Folk Culture Center organized several retrospective exhibits, which featured present day craftsmen's works together with best ancient traditional folk works taken from museums ( sashes, weavings, production spinning tools, graphics ).
It was imperative for craftsmen during Soviet times to take part in various exhibitions in Moscow. Gradually more and more folk works are shown in foreign countries.
Without exhibits, during the after war years, there appeared other organized folk craftspeople's expression forms. Various seminars had big meaning, stimulating creativity and introduction to traditions. Especially a great influence was made in the development of textiles. And world content small architectural construction ensembles, called folk monumentalizations, turned up during such seminars at camps of creativity, many of them were held for painters, especially in the Baltic States. Handcrafts' days were assigned to weaving, smithery, wood carving, ceramics and basket weaving and were attended by craftsmen of all these crafts. To encourage craftspeople in their work, to propagate folk art crafts and traditions, there were contests during these trade days, to select the best craftsperson . The last All Crafts' Day was held in Vilnius in 1989. Now the craftspeople demonstrate their skills during folklore festivals, days of folklore during Song Festival. 
Lately, there remains one fundamental folk art significant form - exhibits, various fairs, demonstrations of various crafts. In some events, especially seminars, camps, organizational work travels into regional cultural divisions, ethnic centers. This has created prizes due to regional government initiatives : Kaunas region - for paintings, L.Ðepkas - for sculptures, prize of Lithuanian Ministry of Culture is considered to be the highest award to folk art craftsmen.
Differently from other countries, let us say, from Russia there were no regional art craft centers and art craft enterprises, all creative work was individual. It has remained such in this century, even though textile, wood and ceramic enterprises have been created and are still in operation, whose largest part of production, standard duplicates and where parts of work operations are mechanized. These enterprises, in part Art Center folk craftsmen's shops, filled the market place with items of various use and decorative souvenirs. The falter, even though often repeats historically traditional forms and adornments has lost authors' creative individuality, reflection and vitality.
Intricate folk art development, especially in 20th century, reflects peculiarly the history of investigation ( study, research ) of folk art. The start of investigation can be considered to have begun at the end of 19th century, even though various writings and drawings are found in much earlier Lituanistic, historic and especially ethnographic literature, which is related to newly found cultural organizations.
In 1879, was created "Litauische Literaturische Gesell/shaft", society in Tilsit, which collected historical information, of which folk art was a part. After the revolution of 1905, when Lithuania recovered some freedoms and freedom of the press ( 1864-1904 the Czar had forbidden writings using the Latin alphabet, for this reason Lithuanian books and newspapers were published in foreign lands, mostly in Prussia, and were illegally distributed throughout Lithuania, even though there was great danger of severe punishments; there were secret Lithuanian schools and etc. ) Several cultural associations were created ( Lithuanian art, Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, Polish studies ). They, among others, collected folk articles. Not only these collected folk art but also the main Russian Ethnographic museum in St,Petersburg. The researchers' attention was drawn to crosses, sculptures, weavings, wood carvings. In the period between wars, Lithuanian folk art collecting was continued by museums, especially by M.K.Èiurlionis art gallery, which prepared expeditions, recruited and motivated professional painters for this activity, as already mentioned, artists created specialized exhibits. The coop "Marginiai" was established in 1930, it organized craftsmen and promoted creation of folk style works'. Also there appeared many publications and articles by P.Galaunë, A.Rûkðtelë, I.Konèius, A.& A. Tamoðaitis. They also continued publications begun at the beginning of this century by A.Ðukevièius, M.Brenðtein, J.Basanavièius, and A.Jaroðevièius and others.
After the second world war, during the years of occupation, folk art collecting and researching work was continued by museums. While leadership for live process was accorded to state cultural department, whose range of vision contained non professional works ( this institution's names changed with time: but work continuance remained, now it is called Lithuanian Folk Culture Center ). This institution's activity in the field of folk art covers organizational, consulting, educational, publishing and research works. Part of organizational and exhibit works were taken over by Lithuanian Folk Art Association, organized in 1966 ( from 1989 called - Lithuanian Folk Artists' Union ) which at present unites about 3000 folk craftspeople. In the publications of Folk Culture Center, predominate collections of articles, publications of conference materials, how-to books, exhibit catalogs. At the present time, Lithuanian Culture Center's folk art sector works are within two priority directions, works along two programs: reconstruction of national costume and small architecture, complex rectifying and investigation of small architecture.
The investigative work divided into two parts during years after the war, for those scholars who emigrated to foreign lands. A many volume capital publication "Lithuanian Folk Art", album series, which has become the source and basis of learning about classic folk art remains in museum stocks. Several monographs and scientific catalogs have been released. J.Arinius has worked abroad doing research in folk art, has published a monograph about sacral, small architecture, I.Kokèius announced his findings about Samogitian crosses and roadside chapels, M.Gimbutas analyzed folk art symbology,
A.& A.Tamoðaitis and others. There were discussions about folk art, particularly crosses, their origin, symbolism and other important subjects featured in cultural periodicals, published abroad.
At the present time, in the last decade, in folk art complicated processes take place in learning traditions and their continuance, folk art interaction with other ethnic culture areas and cultural occurrences. Classic folk art research predominates in scientific works.