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The Latvian National Museum of Art – revived anew


During the ambitious reconstruction and renovation, the historical museum building was entirely restored, as well as the premises were considerably widened providing the opportunity to get to know to Latvian art more fully.

This is a significant event and the guests of our country are invited to acknowledge this. The building of the National Museum, which was the first construction in the Baltic states carried out specifically for the museum’s needs, experienced ambitious restoration, reconstruction and rebuilding. This is the first time in the museum’s 110 year history that it has gone through changes of such amplitude.

The main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art on 10a Krisjana Valdemara Street was built from 1903 to 1905. The author of its project and the first museum director was the Baltic German architect and art historian Vilhelms Neimanis (1849-1919). The majestic façade was created in the Baroque and Classicism style, the sculptural group of the central fronton was created by the sculptor Augusts Folcs (1851-1926). In the interior of the building, elements of Art Nouveau were used. The upper floor hall is adorned with the decorative paintings of the outstanding Latvian painter Vilhelms Purvitis (1872-1945) and the popular Estonian artist Gerhard von Rosen (1856-1927).

During the ambitious restoration, reconstruction and underground construction works the building did not lose any of its historical atmosphere but instead it has become larger (by more than 3500 square metres) and more contemporary. A wide underground exposition hall was obtained, the attic in the building’s cupola was converted, and the museum visitors will enjoy the terrace with a view of our marvellous capital city etc.

The almost entirely reborn museum monumental building will open its doors to visitors in May 2016. At present, the expositions are being arranged. The Latvian National Museum of Art is the largest professional art depository in the country.

The museum’s permanent exposition will provide a marvellous chance to get acquainted with Latvian national art starting from its beginnings till the end of the 20th century. Latvia is justifiably proud of excellent art achievements that are an enriching part of the European artistic heritage.

The first to receive the honour of exhibiting his works in the newly reconstructed temporary exposition hall will be the versatile Latvian artist Miervaldis Polis (1948). He is a painter, sculptor, installation artist, performance organiser etc. Every meeting with Miervaldis Polis turns into a celebration.