New Works in the Permanent Display of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design
The Latvian public has always held a keen interest in the new works acquired by the museums for their collections. Here we provide a brief overview of the new additions to the ceramics collection, which enrich the permanent exhibition of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga (Skārņu iela 10/20).
The beginning of 2017 has been very fruitful as the permanent exhibition of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (MDAD) has been supplemented with valuable works which are significant for Latvian art and history of culture. The place of honour is given to Dmitriy Abrosimov’ painted porcelain plate with image of the Madonna, which was presented to the museum. It was made in 1927 in the legendary porcelain painting workshop Baltars, founded by Latvian modernists, and decorated from the design of painter Aleksandra Beļcova.
Another equally noteworthy object comes from the sizeable collection of Latvia’s first minister of trade and industry, Latvian entrepreneur and public worker Spricis Paegle, which unfortunately was lost during World War II. This object contains a secret that will only be revealed to the attentive viewer. At first sight it appears to be a beautiful golden glazed Art Nouveau vase with plastic bird and grasshopper decoration, yet upon more careful observation we see that it is the stand of a table lamp, only the shade has been lost in the course of history. Nothing is known about the lamp’s original appearance since unfortunately there are no surviving photographs showing it. Designer of the object is Augusts Julla – sculptor, ceramicist, pedagogue, who studied in Baron Stieglitz’s Central School of Technical Drawing in St. Petersburg at the beginning of the 20th century. Major part of his life was related to Cēsis, where the master set up the first arts and crafts school in Latvia.
The contemporary exposition presents recently acquired works which give an overview of the current developments in Latvian ceramics and the artists’ individual artistic styles. Dainis Pundurs is represented with the technically complicated work Obsession WithHoney, a creative development on his subject of bees. This time, we have openwork honeycombs – a variation on the example of rational architecture built by the bee.
The masterpiece of Inese Brants is the composition Blue Leaves built from porcelain pieces at the international artists’ symposium in Kecskemét, Hungary.
The oeuvre of Inese Margēviča is represented by three deeply personal works – a romantic composition of porcelain wares with flowers and cycling girls and the stone mass figurine Bathing in South China Sea.
The ceramics collection has also received two large vases. One of these is Juta Rindina’s expressive vase with the playful combination of blue and white fields and figures. Reflections on the surprising time of harvest in nature are brought up by Skuja&Braden’s Autumn Vase. The vase’s long neck, covered with fluttering butterflies and flowers in bloom, grows out of a round, homely pumpkin shape.
Meanwhile, the all-round painted porcelain pieces with gold and platinum accents, People in the Garden, were decorated in 1996 by painter Tatjana Krivenkova at the renowned Imperial Porcelain Factory in St. Petersburg (Russia).
In all likelihood, the end of the year will also not be a disappointment in terms of new acquisitions for the ceramics collection. In line with the museum’s collection strategy, continuous effort is being made to this end, selecting the most necessary, outstanding and characteristic works of the entire field and each separate author.
Dace Ļaviņa, Curator of the Latvian Ceramics and Porcelain Collection,
Museum of Decorative Arts and Design / Latvian National Museum of Art