From the Past to the Future. The Conservator’s Workshop
An exhibition dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Latvian Society of Restorers
Art Museum RIGA BOURSE
Great Exhibition Hall
From March 30 to June 9, 2019 an exhibition “From the Past to the Future. The Conservator’s Workshop”, dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Latvian Society of Restorers, will be open to visitors at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE (6 Doma laukums, Riga).
Art works which you can see displayed at the museums and exhibitions look beautiful and noble, however often they spend a lot of time at the conservator’s workshop, but this chapter of their life gets unnoticed by the viewer. However important and complicated it may be, the conservator’s work often goes unnoticed. No material can be preserved forever, but it is possible to significantly extend the life of virtually every item through wise and systematic care.
The Latvian Society of Restorers wants to show the viewers not only the various methods of cultural heritage research and different branches of restoration, but also a wide diversity of the exhibited items and materials, with this illustrating the environment of Latvia’s cultural and historical values and people’s role in it during various time periods over the past 1,000 years.
Exhibition displays many objects which lifes were saved with the knowledge and skills of the restorer: from archaeological artefacts shattered in pieces found in excavations, to paintings which have been kept rolled up in inadequate conditions for a long time or a crochet bedspread deformed while in use with many tears and holes.
Viewers will be able to see also unique items, which usually are available only to a small circle of specialists, for example, a fragment “Mother Latvia” from the model of the Brethren Cemetery “Mother Latvia with her Fallen Sons” by Latvian sculptor Kārlis Zāle or the 13th century handwritten parchment with wax seals – “Ruling of a court of arbitration in which Archbishop Albert of Riga settles a dispute over dominions in Courland between the Bishop of Courland and the Teutonic Order”.
Conservation process not only includes object restoration, but also research, which is connected with different academic fields and methods, such as chemical composition and structure of substances or the interesting and fascinating research of the object history – for example, in prior to restoration in-depth research conservator discovered that one chair had been a part of a 30 chairs and table set for the meeting room of the State Chancellery of Latvia.
The exhibition will showcase 130 items restored in recent decades by 80 Latvia’s conservators. The items displayed at the exhibition come from many museums of Latvia, the National Archives of Latvia and the National Library of Latvia, as well as private collections and Latvia’s churches.
About The Latvian Society of Restorers
The Latvian Society of Restorers was founded on June 10, 1989. At present the association unites 195 conservators and other professionals connected with restoration field from many regions of Latvia who work in museums, libraries, archives and the private sector, representing various branches, including restoration of paintings, furniture, paper, fabrics, leather, polychrome wood, metal and ceramics, research of architectural heritage, archaeological materials, etc. The Latvian Society of Restorers is involved in preserving Latvia’s cultural heritage and raises public awareness of the diversity and significance of cultural heritage.