The Art Museum RIGA BOURSE is an architectural monument of national importance. It was built between 1852 and 1855 in the style of a Venetian renaissance palazzo symbolising wealth and plenitude. The design was by the St. Petersburg architect of German origin Harald Julius Bosse (1812-1894) and for the first time in its history, all the rooms are open to the public.
In 2013 the RIGA BOURSE was given a special commendation by the European Museum Forum and became one of Europe’s eight most successful museums that have opened in the last two years. The experts of the jury greatly appreciated the interaction between high quality reconstruction and the wonderful atmosphere provided for visitors. The public now has a unique building, which had earlier only been accessible to the financial elite.
The museum is a place for cultural exchange where excellence is more important than the artist’s national origin. It means the doors of the museum are also open to Latvian art. The museum strives to be a meeting point between west and east and the displays and exhibitions also offer a dialogue between expressions of classical and contemporary art.
The museum has four permanent displays – the Oriental Gallery with a broad selection of Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Indonesian traditional art as well as Latvia’s only Egyptian wood mummy sarcophagus. The Painting Gallery has Western European works from the 16th – 19th century. On display in the Western Gallery is a collection of 18th – 20th century West European porcelain supplemented by German and Austrian painting from the first half of the 19th century as well as early 20th century Belgian painting and there is also the Silver Cabinet.
The museum regularly organises international art exhibition projects. It produces museum publications, holds scientific conferences and various art and cultural events. It is also engaged in intensive educational work offering visitors various thematic excursions, special educational programmes, concerts and creative workshops.