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The Art Museum “Riga Bourse” has become... a millionaire
More than a million art lovers have visited the Art Museum "Riga Bourse" ("Rīgas Birža") over the span of six years, since the museum opened its doors in the building that could be mistaken for a Venetian Renaissance palace, located in the heart of the Old town.
The symbolic number of visitors was reached in late 2017, at the time of the exhibition “With Seven-league Boots. Stop – Finland. Works from the Kiasma Collection”.
The exhibitions “12 Characters from the Prado Collection”, “Magnetism of Provence”, “Glasstress Riga”, “Francisco de Goya. Los Caprichos”, “Oriental porcelain” amongst others have attracted the largest interest.
The museum promises that more valuable expositions are on their way. The ambitious exhibition “Art Deco. Origins. Influences. Peculiarity.” will take place in the Art Museum “Riga Bourse” in 2018.
The exhibition will feature works from the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Stanford University, Musée d'Orsay, Badische Landesmuseum, M.K.Ciurlionis Art Museum, and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium.
“The Baltic Oaks”, a film devoted to the Dutch and Flemish painting traditions, will be presented this autumn, and an exhibition of the exuberant modern Flemish artist Jan Fabra’s works will be opened at the end of the year.
The Art Museum “Riga Bourse” opened its doors to visitors in the summer of 2011, and together with 3 other museums and an exhibition hall, it forms the Latvian National Museum of Art.
The beginnings of the museum are to be found in 1920, when the National Museum of Art was established, but its history of creating collections reaches even further – back to the Riga of town councillors, merchants, and burgomasters.
The Art Museum “Riga Bourse” has four permanent exhibitions. The Oriental Gallery, featuring a wide range of Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian art, and the only Egyptian mummy in Latvia, safely guarded by a wooden sarcophagus. The Painting Gallery features Western European paintings from the 16th–19th century, The Western Gallery holds the extensive collection of the 18th–20th century Western European porcelain, complemented by German and Austrian paintings of the first half of the 19th century, as well as Belgian paintings from the 20th century, and the Silver cabinet.
The building of the Art Museum “Riga Bourse” is an architectural monument of state significance. It was built the mid-19th century, imitating the shapes of the Venetian Renaissance palazzo style, which symbolise wealth and abundance.
To return the building to its former splendour, Riga Bourse went through large-scale reconstruction and restoration works in the period of 2008 – 2011.
In 2013, the Art Museum “Riga Bourse” received the Special Commendations of the European Museums Forum, which recognised it as one of the best new museums in Europe. The experts of the jury appreciated the interaction between the impressive renovation and the astonishing atmosphere created for the museum’s visitors.