Illuminate the unseen. Discover art. Get inspired in Riga
Art lovers in Riga must plan a visit to at least three museums – the Latvian National Museum of Art, Art Museum RIGA BOURSE and Museum of Decorative Art and Design. Museums are open to the visitors and invite everyone to discover outstanding art exhibitions, join guided tours and get inspired in Riga.

Together museums build the largest depository of professional art in Latvia, where you can find and learn a wealth of information about Latvian and global visual and decorative arts development. With its unique vision and excellent architecture, the museums are an integral part of the Latvian identity, as well as an essential value in the context of world museums.

 

ABOUT THE MUSEUMS

The main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art / Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1, Riga, Latvia

The greatest achievements of Latvian art over the centuries

The main building of Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA) is one of the most impressive buildings in the Riga Boulevard Circle – its majestic facade is made in the styles of baroque and classicism, while elements of Art Nouveau are used in the interior. The museum has recently undergone a fundamental reconstruction – a real gain is the Great Exhibition Hall in the underground extension, as well as the new spaces created on the roof floor and in the cupola. Visitors can get a glimpse of the painting depository installed behind the glass wall. This original architectural solution allows to see the museum in action.

 

LNMA’s permanent display presents an overview of Latvian art history over the course of two centuries. The aim of the exposition is to build a visual and emotional story of the development of Latvian art by highlighting the most important works and personalities in culture-historical, political and social context.

 

Until 25 October 2020, the Great Hall of the LNMA’s main building holds an exhibition dedicated to the founder of Latvian national graphics school, Rihards Zariņš (Carl Richard Woldemar Sarring, 1869–1939). The artist created testimonies to Latvia’s cultural environment that can now be considered as symbols (Latvia’s herald, banknotes, postage stamps, Latvian ornaments, etc.), thus playing a significant role in the formation of Latvian identity, as well as leaving a large number of easel graphic works in which Zariņš accented national romantic imagery, as a result of which he can be included among late 19th and early 20th century symbolists.

 

The exposition shows comprehensively the master’s extensive creative legacy and reveals the different sides of his personality. The title of Rihards Zariņš’ retrospective and that of his best known series of works What Latvia’s Forests Are Whispering testify to the artist’s inherent interest in the forests of the land of his birth, garlanded with the romance of tales and legends, whose mysterious atmosphere every viewer of the exhibition is invited to imbibe.

 

Museum of Decorative Arts and Design / Skārņu iela 10, Riga, Latvia

Design stories

The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (MDAD) is located in the oldest stone building in Riga, St. George’s Church dating from 1204. The museum’s collection contains more than 11 000 design and decorative art works, encompassing the period from the late 19th century until today. Particular attention in forming the MDAD’s collection is devoted to the representation of processes in contemporary Latvian design. MDAD is the place for closer connections between the design creators and design users, as well as for the exchange of professional opinions and creative synergy between different art fields.

 

Until 27 September 2020, in the Great Hall, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design is presenting Samsara, an ambitious exhibition that introduces a selection of more than 200 works of sculpture and painting in porcelain by the internationally recognised artist duo Skuja Braden – Ingūna Skuja from Latvia and Melissa D. Braden from the USA – created over the course of twenty one year. The exhibitions of Skuja Braden are always an occasion, but the style of the tandem’s objects is original and unparalleled. The technique used by artists expands to the maximum the borders of what traditionally is possible in ceramics and porcelain art.

 

Art Museum RIGA BOURSE / Doma laukums 6, Riga, Latvia

Meeting point of cultures

The Art Museum RIGA BOURSE (AMRB) resides in a building declared as an architectural monument of national significance. It was built from 1852 to 1855, after the project by Saint Petersburg architect of German origin Harald Julius von Bosse (1812–1894) as a stock exchange house. The stylization of the architectural forms of the Venetian Renaissance palazzo symbolizes wealth and abundance. Since 2011, it housed the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE which preserves the largest collection of foreign art in Latvia.

 

Art Museum RIGA BOURSE is a place for cultural exchange where an artist’s excellency is more important than his nationality. The museum strives to be a point of contact between the East and the West, as well as offers a dialogue between classical and contemporary art in its permanent displays and exhibitions.

 

In 2012, the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE acquired the work of the world-famous Russian artist Dmitry Gutov (Дмитрий Гутов) Gondola, which has become a museum’s symbol of recognition. The 11-meter-long Gondola is like an ‘explosion’ of a real Venetian gondola frozen in time – a spatial yet linear clear message that unites traditional and Avant-garde into one contemporary art object.

 

From 5 September to 13 December 2020, the exhibition Our Museum. State Museum of Art 100 in the Great Hall of AMRB offers a brilliant selection of works by Latvian artists of the 1920s and 1930s, Chinese and Japanese artworks acquired by museum from Latvians living in the Far East, Belgian paintings, medal art, lace samples, Danish glass and ceramics, Western European porcelain and silver as well as examples of Russian art. The exhibition is a tribute to a no longer existing cultural institution and its employees, who created and preserved a collection of works that continues to reside in the depositories, research and exhibition activities of the Latvian National Museum of Art.

 

COMING SOON: WORTH SEEING!

Wild Souls. Symbolism in the Art of the Baltic States

From 21 November 2020 to 21 February 2021, the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga will display an exhibition Wild Souls. Symbolism in the Art of the Baltic States – an ambitious joint project dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the independence of the Baltic States, which is also one of the greatest events of international programme of Latvia’s Centenary.

 

In 2018, an exhibition Wild Souls. Symbolism in the Baltic States (Âmes sauvages. Le symbolisme dans les pays baltes) was on view at the Orsay Museum in Paris. The broad exposition invited French viewers and many thousands of tourists to get to know symbolism in Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian art at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is characterized by the celebration of the homeland – nature landscapes depicting the cyclical rhythm of seasons. The masters’ works draw the viewer into a mysterious alternative reality full of mythological, fantastic and on each country’s folklore based imagery.

 

After Paris, the project continues its route as a travelling exhibition in the Baltic States, becoming an excellent example of international cultural cooperation. In late 2018 and early 2019, it was displayed at the Estonian Museum of Art KUMU in Tallinn. From 25 July to 11 October 2020, there is a possibility to see this show at the Lithuanian National Museum of Art’s National Gallery of Art in Vilnius, but in the end of this year and in the beginning of 2021 – in Riga, in the Great Hall of the main building of Latvian National Museum of Art. Throughout the exhibition, the LNMA will implement a specially prepared programme of events.

 

GUIDED TOURS AND ACTIVITIES

All LNMA’s museums offer guided tours and educational programmes for different age groups providing an opportunity to improve knowledge about art as well as to develop creativity.

  • Due to health and safety considerations until 30 August guided tours of the museum are available for families or members of one household (LNMA – up to 10 persons, AMRB and MDAD – 8 persons). Guided tours for organized groups (LNMA – up to 10 persons, AMRB and MDAD – 8 persons) are available, taking into account mutual distance as well as keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from other visitors and museum staff. Guided tours of the museum are possible only by prior arrangement.
  • The number of persons at the educational programmes (f.ex. creative workshops) is limited, therefore prior arrangement is required.
  • Group visits are possible, observing a mutual distance as well as keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from other visitors and museum staff.

 

COVID-19: HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES AT THE MUSEUM

In the context of current events in the world, art comes to the foreground to help uncover new creative ideas and to support us when we try to comprehend how to act when in doubt and feeling unsafe. The Latvian National Museum of Art highly cares about the safety of both the visitors and its own employees. To limit the spread of coronavirus Covid-19, LNMA recommends using contactless payment and bank cards or register on Mobilly mobile app to conveniently purchase tickets on your phone. Before visiting the museums, please read Health and Safety Measures at the Museum.

Related exhibitions
Related press releases