The Latvian National Museum of Art’s collection of graphic art is the largest collection in numerical terms, with more than 18,000 artworks in all. The most extensive collections feature the work of Ādams Alksnis, Arturs Baumanis, Pēteris Krastiņš, Voldemārs Irbe, Jānis Plēpis, Kārlis Padegs, Sigismunds Vidbergs, Gustavs Klucis, Kurts Fridrihsons, Pēteris Upītis, and others. The collection is divided up by technique – drawings, water-colours, pastels, engravings and lithographs. Works from the latter half of the 20th century, when the range of techniques was more extensive, are divided up into even greater detail, including posters and set designs. Over the last few years, the collection of graphic art has been supplemented with artwork created with some of the latest technologies that have been available in the world – digital printing, for instance.
Since January 2010, the Latvian National Museum of Art has taken part in a project financed by the EEZ Financial Instrument, “The Full Preservation of the Collection of Non-Conformist Soviet Latvian Graphic Art and the Provision of the Necessary Material and Technical Basis Thereof” (LV0092). This is a major project, involving the Latvian National Library in tandem with other memory-based institutions such as the Latvian Occupation Museum, the Latvian National Museum of Art, the Rīga Museum of History and Shipping, the War Museum, the Cēsis Museum of History and Art, the Museum of the Latvian Artists Association, and the State Archives of Latvia. The aim is to restore, conserve, digitalise and place into a national database all of the graphic artworks that are in the collections of these various institutions – 3,110 in all.
The project will continue until April 30, 2011. During the concluding phase, early in 2011, the restored artworks will be exhibited, and a seminar will be held for restorers.