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Museum of Decorative Arts and Design
The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design is open for visitors since July 6th, 1989. It is situated in the former St. George’s church – the oldest surviving stone building in Riga.
The holding of the museum consists of seven collection: textile art, ceramics and porcelain, metal art, leather art, decorative woodworking, glass art and the newest one – design collection.
In its beginnings, Latvian professional decorative art, inspired by the first national awakening, was mostly rooted in folk craft traditions and the ethnographic heritage. In the first half of the 20th century there was a search for their national identity in the area of decorative applied art.
Prominent masters like Jūlijs Madernieks (1870–1955), Jūlijs Straume (1874–1970), Ansis Cīrulis (1883–1942), Jēkabs Bīne (1895–1955), Arvīds Dzērvītis (1847–1942) and others were involved in this search, which was particularly relevant in the context of the time.
The museum owns the biggest existing collection of works by the founders of Latvian modernism, artists of the Baltars porcelain painting workshop: Romans Suta (1896–1944), Aleksandra Beļcova (1892–1981) and Sigismunds Vidbergs (1890–1970). Latvian modernism is defined by the abstract geometrical forms inspired by the Cubist, Futurist and Art Deco movements, decorative colours and shapes and graphic subtlety. The collection of works spans the time from the late 1800s to the present.
Alongside the permanent exposition, the museum systematically presents a wide range of temporary exhibits. Exhibitions of Latvian and international decorative art and design are held annually. A significant role in the activities of the museum is played by creative workshops (fabric printing, wool felting, etc.) and other events which provide an opportunity for every participant to express their creative imagination.