First Stage of Riga Art Nouveau Museum Opened
On April 25, the first day of the new tourism season, Riga Art Nouveau museum opens its doors to visitors at 12, Alberta Street. The building was designed by prominent Latvian architect Konstantīns Pēkšēns, and the museum is located in his former flat. With the opening of the first stage of the museum, the visitors can see the authentically restored and furnished anteroom, living room with a bay and a fire-place room with an exposition of furniture and objects dating back to the Art Nouveau times.
The museum aims to preserve and promote the diversity of Art Nouveau in art and architecture. Now Riga has a flat which will fully display the nature of Art Nouveau – from authentic planning of rooms and original painting of walls to the tiniest details – stained-glass windows, kitchen tiles and even handles of doors and windows.
The museum will also eternalise the memory of prominent Latvian architect Konstatntīns Pēkšēns, who designed about 250 multi-storey masonry Art Nouveau buildings Riga.
„As a capital of Art Nouveau, Riga has long since needed such a museum. Now Rigans may be proud of having an Art Nouveau museum of their own, which will be a historical evidence for residents of our city and will also promote Riga worldwide. I am convinced that Riga Art Nouveau museum, with its authentic interior design and rich exposition, will become a significant part of the European cultural heritage of Art Nouveau,” Riga Mayor Jānis Birks emphasised.
With the opening of the first stage of the museum, the visitors can see the authentically restored and furnished anteroom, living room with a bay and a fire-place room with an exposition of furniture and objects dating back to the Art Nouveau times. The Riga Culture Agency is truly satisfied that the museum is being opened for Riga citizens and guests in the scheduled time, which coincides with the beginning of an active tourism season in Riga.
It is planned that other authentically restored premises of the 1st floor flat, including dining room, sleeping room, maid’s room, kitchen and bathroom, will be opened at the second stage. And finally, an educating and attractive digital exposition on the Art Nouveau era will open on the basement floor.
„The premises of the Art Nouveau museum are unique in Riga for their historical value and their distinguished authentic Art Nouveau style interior design. The Riga Culture Agency is satisfied that we have managed to implement this project and give Riga a new museum, which will help Rigans to better know the history of their city and the lifestyle of its residents in the early 20th century. It’s only logical that the museum is being opened in the year of the 150th anniversary of Konstantīns Pēkšēns, a distinguished Latvian architect of Art Nouveau,” noted Brigita Rozenbrika, director of the Riga Culture Agency.
The author of the museum’s exposition is Liesma Markova, the premises were restored by professional experienced restorers led by certified restorer Gunita Čakare. The collection of the museum accounts for more than 500 authentic objects – original Art Nouveau furniture, tableware, needle-works, clothes and many other items of interior design.
The museum will be open to visitors from 16.00 of April 25. On the opening day visiting museum is free of charge. Access to the museum is from Strēlnieku Street. The entrance fee is 1 lats for adults, for children it is free of charge.
Art Nouveau is the style of art of the late 19th and early 20th century. It introduced the system of contemporary styles in architecture. The development of Art Nouveau in Riga coincided with the city’s rapid growth in the early 20th century, when the capital acquired its present cityscape. By 1904 the eclectic style of the second half of the 19th century almost fully disappeared. Buildings of Art Nouveau represent almost 40 % of the whole inventory of the city centre, which is much more than in any other city of the world. The most distinguished representatives of Art Nouveau in Latvia were Konstantīns Pēkšēns, Mikhail Eisenstein, Eižens Laube, Jānis Alksnis, Aleksandrs Vanags, Wilhelm Ludwig Bockslaff and many other prominent architects.
Riga Art Nouveau museum