The Museum of Foreign Art was founded in 1920 as the State Museum of Art. From the very first day, museum has been housed in the Riga Castle, which today is the residence of the President of the Republic of Latvia and the Latvian National History Museum.
Over the 90 years of its existence, the Museum of Foreign Art has developed into the largest depository of foreign art objects in Latvia. It holds examples of art from various ages and nations, dating from the 5th century BC to the early 1900s. The current museum's collection consists of several large groups of artworks: Ancient Egypt, Ancient World, Far East and Western Europe, which is also the largest part of the collection. Most outstanding museum's collections consists of so-called Dutch Golden age of art, German Romantic paintings, 20th century Belgian art of the early 30s, as well as the largest Far East art collection in Baltics, which is dominated by works of art from China, Japan and India. In 2009, a valuable donation, a set of traditional Indonesian artworks was added to this collection.
After the opening, the Museum of Foreign Art will regularly host international shows, providing an insight into the art history and current artistic trends of other countries, as well as exhibitions from the museum’s funds.
By participating in various activities and guided tours organized by the museum, visitors will have the opportunity to explore in depth a variety of ancient cultures and Western European art. Events dedicated to Oriental cultures will be accompanied by master classes, theatre performances and concerts of traditional music complemented by lectures represented by museum staff and representatives of University of Latvia.
The museum's opening events will take place at Dome Square on August 20th, during the annual Riga City festival. The new museum will open its doors to visitors from August 22.
People will be welcome to the new museum premises in the historical building of Riga Stock Exchange at Dome Square 6, just opposite to the Dome Cathedral right in the very heart of Old Town.