The Metal Art Collection

The metal art collection reflects the development of this field from the 1920s to the present day. It comprises approximately 1000 art objects: ware, vases, sports awards, candlesticks, decorative compositions, design objects and jewellery. Artworks by Arvīds Dzērvītis, Stefans Bercs, Jāzeps Vedeiko, Eižens Auniņš, Arnolds Naika, Ēvalds Veidemanis and Jānis Zibens give an insight into the development of metal art and jewellery during the years of Latvia's independence in the 1920s and 30s.

Post war directions in Latvian metal art get manifested through artworks by Arnolds Naika, Džems Bodnieks, Visvaldis Pelcis. These articles demonstrate stylised forms and ornamental patterns derived from Latvian folk art. Among these the collection contains a document case created by Arnolds Naika. It is the most vivid example of the Soviet time stylistics adopted during the Stalin's authoritarian regime. Gradually the fashion for decoration in ethnographical style was replaced by experimentation with enamel, which is reflected by copper ware of the 1960s executed by Eižens Auniņš and Otto Ozols.

In the end of the 1970s and 80s graduates of the Riga Applied Art School Raimonds Rinkevičs, Jānis Martinsons, Zigfrīds Rozenbergs, Ināra Gulbe, Vilnis Zibens and Miervaldis Zibens worked in the field of architecture and created also decorative objects, candlesticks and ware. The impact of the Scandinavian design and the world art experience can be felt in the creative work of the Latvian artists – graduates of the Art Institute of Estonia: Juris Gagainis, Vilma Zariņa, Maija Sniedzīte, Ināra Jansone and Uldis Sokolovskis. The artistic approach of the time in transferring the tasks pertinent to fine art over to objects and jewellery is demonstrated by decorative compositions, enamel art objects and jewellery executed by Juris Gagainis, Gundars Pekelis, Indulis Urbāns and Uldis Sokolovskis.

The latest acquisitions of unique design objects to the collection are lighting fixtures and furniture, made by Juris Gagainis, Arvīds Endziņš and Māris Gailis. Enamels by Dina Dubiņa, metal pictures by Māris Šustiņš, decorative metal forms, very close to sculpture, by Armands Vecvanags manifest the tendency of breaking the narrow borders of art disciplines, which is a topical process in contemporary art at present.

Jewellery forms a considerably great part of the collection. The silver fibulae fashioned by Arvīds Dzērvītis in the 1920s are the oldest articles in the collection. The advancement of post war time jewellery is characterized by the collection of amber ornaments which in the 1950s was started by the jewellers of Liepāja and Riga. The collection contains articles by Mirdza Burve, Oļģerts Keterliņš, Helēna Keterliņa, Voldemārs Ansulis and Ēvalds Veidemanis. Among these of special interest are amber figurines by Arturs Bērnieks.

The direction of the 1970s towards application of innovative technologies in metal art is represented through artworks created by Ināra Neilande, Laimdota Ence, and Andris Smilga. Jewellery is made from different materials: copper, cupronickel, silver and other materials in combination with shells, wood and gemstones. The collection comprises also artworks created by Juris Gagainis, Dina Dubiņa, Māris Auniņš, Maija Sniedzīte, Uldis Sokolovskis and some other Latvian artists – graduates of the Art Institute of Estonia. There is also high artistic quality jewellery design of the 1970s and 80s executed by the graduates of the Riga Applied Art School: Marta Krasta, Gundars Pekelis, Indulis Urbāns, Pauls Spridzāns and Aivars Riekstiņš.

The latest acquisitions to the collection are articles from precious metals and alloys manifesting topical directions in contemporary jewellery design executed by Juris Gagainis, Ainārs Sils, Andris Lauders, Guntis Lauders and Andris Silapēters.