The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (MDAD) has been open to the public since 6 July 1989. The museum has seven collections: textile art, ceramics, metal, leather, decorative wood and glaas art as well as a design collection.
The permanent display introduces visitors to the work of Latvia’s leading artists in decorative art and design. It tells about the dominant styles and movements in the period from the end of the 19th century to the present day. Alongside the permanent display, the museum regularly offers a broad range of exhibitions. Every year there are on average five exhibitions in the museum’s Great Hall. Special thematic shows associated with the permanent display are held in the vestibules on the museum’s upper floors.
When organising exhibitions, the museum makes creative use of its own collections and those of other museums in order to develop the public’s understanding of the history, present and future of decorative applied art and design. When organising exhibitions and educational programmes, the museum collaborates with working artists, designers and partner institutions in Latvia and abroad. IN its operations the museum strives to reflect the current processes in decorative applied art, fashion and design. The museum engages in interdisciplinary experimental projects that promote creative synergies between various branches of art.
An important role of the museum is in work on lifelong learning in order to encourage public interest in decorative applied art, craftsmanship and design. The museum is actively involved in developing closer ties between creators and consumers as well stimulating the exchange of opinions among professionals. There are regular series of various lectures and dialogues as well as creative workshops for children and adults. The series of conversations “Design Talks. Latvian Designers” has become especially popular in recent years. In its fourth season, the series has turned into a broader programme of events under the title of “Design Talks”.