Picasso and Art Nouveau in Riga

16 April, 2015

If you are interested in art and happen to be in Riga you can count yourself lucky. Riga can boast an impressing number of art museums worth visiting. In this post you will learn more about two of these museums. Are you even the slightest into art, I’m sure you will find them worth a visit!

The Latvian National Museum of Art / Riga Bourse

The National Museum in Riga is the biggest art museum in Riga and can trace its origins all the way back to the 18th century. Since 1905 it’s housed in the majestic building on Krišjāņa Valdemāra Street. The building, of course, is a piece of art in itself, with architectural influences from everything from Baroque to Art Nouveau. Sadly due to renovations, at the moment, the only way to admire it is from the outside. Luckily, the National Museum has more than one building where they house their collections. On such location is the former Riga Bourse, with its Main Hall now housing exhibitions from the National Museum as well as temporary exhibitions.

For a couple of more days the Riga Bourse exhibits “Two Centuries of Italian Portrait Painting. 1580–1780” in cooperation with the Bologna Pinacoteca.

From the beginning of May until July the Riga Bourse will exhibit the “Magnetism of Provence”, with artists such as Renoir, Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Chagall and Gauguin. This will be the first time the National Museum hosts an exhibition of this scale.

Getting there:

Main building:  10a K. Valdemāra Street
Riga Bourse:      6 Doma Square

The Riga Art Nouveau Museum / Jugendstil Museum

The website of the Art Nouveau Museum has a map of all buildings built in this particular style. When looking at the map it is easy to understand why there is a museum since half of the city is built in Jugendstil or Art Nouveau. However, the museum presents exhibitions not only about the architectural style but also about interior design and other works of art. Fittingly enough the museum, inaugurated in 2009, is housed in a flat in an Art Nouveau building. This way the museum will give you an authentic presentation of life in Riga during the turn of the 20th century. Be prepared to indulge in everything Art Nouveau/Jugend – clothing, furniture, architecture and even porcelain!

Getting there:

Alberta street 12, enter from Strēlnieku Street.

Photo by Leena Hietanen, released under CC-BY-SA 3.0

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