09.10.2022. - 22.01.2023.
Latvian National Museum of Art


Coins tell, unveil and surprise!

From 9 October 2022 to 22 January 2023, the exhibition OUR VALUES devoted to the centenary of Latvijas Banka is presented in the 4th and 5th floor exhibition halls of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1).

The exhibition devoted to the centenary of Latvijas Banka (LB) and created together with the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA) invites to look at money not just as an integral part of rational global economy but also as a lasting symbol of our culture and history, the embodiment of the history and spiritual values of the Latvian people.

The exhibition displays the collector coins issued by Latvijas Banka. These award-winning coins have been regularly issued since 1996 and have earned worldwide recognition. Latvian artists from several generations working in various genres of the art have designed these coins through studying, discovering and experimenting. Each coin is like a miniature piece of art with an encoded universal message for today and tomorrow. The coins tell us a brief story of our history, culture and values.

High artistic standards are ensured by a special Coin Design Commission of Latvijas Banka that has been active since 1993. To produce each coin, a competition is organised, and all concepts submitted by artists are thoroughly considered. In addition to the Bank’s experts, this Commission also comprises well-known Latvian art, culture, history and science experts. Former members include prominent names like Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, the ex-president of the Republic of Latvia, poet Imants Ziedonis, artist and art historian Imants Lancmanis, artist Ilmārs Blumbergs, architect Modris Ģelzis, artist Kristaps Ģelzis and academician Jānis Stradiņš. The contribution made by Maruta Brūkle, the longstanding Head of the Coin Division of Latvijas Banka and, of course, artist Laimonis Šēnbergs is priceless, as they were the first to study every detail of coin minting and looked for the best mints that were ready to experiment and implement the innovative ideas of Latvian artists. Currently, Jānis Blūms, Head of the Cash Department, also serves as the Head of the Coin Design Commission of Latvijas Banka, and he is assisted by graphic designer Edgars Zvirgzdiņš; Ieva Bela, project manager of Latvijas Banka; artists Sandra Krastiņa, Ivars Drulle, Artūrs Analts, Laimonis Šēnbergs; architect and exhibition curator Ieva Zībārte; art historian Ramona Umblija; Vyacheslav Kascheev, Associate Professor of the University of Latvia, Correspondent Member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences; and literature expert Janīna Kursīte.

80 selected collector coins have been divided into eight thematic groups: OUR RIGA, OUR GOLD, OUR LATVIA, OUR HISTORY, OUR ROOTS, OUR CULTURE, OUR FAIRY TALES and OUR WORLD. The artistic concept of this exhibition was developed by designer Artūrs Analts. Its unusual format highlights these collector coins as wonderful miniature pearls of art and focusses on their timeless spiritual value.

The exhibition is complemented by custom-designed INSPIRATION CABINETS and PROCEDURE STAND that help to understand how much time it takes to create a coin: from the research and artistic pursuits to selecting the ideas and implementing them. Along artistic sketches and plaster models of coins, the visitors are also able to see associative historic objects, documents and artefacts from various memory institutions of Latvia.

vertibuzimes_001_mususaule_horiz.jpgPhoto: Vents Āboltiņš

The audiovisual piece OUR FUTURE created by artist Artūrs Analts for the Cupola Hall invites viewers become part of the installation. If you look up, you can see yourself and the others in the polished mirror surfaces of coins floating above your head. We are responsible for this time, and we all create our common future. The perpetually moving reflections are a symbolic reminder about the real values of our lives during this unstable 21st century.

In turn the spatial object OUR SUN, also implemented by Artūrs Analts, can be enjoyed by all visitors outside the Latvian National Museum of Art. To create it, 369 drawings were selected during a special competition from more than 900 drawings by students of Latvian art schools. The students were asked to draw their interpretation of Our World, Our Future topic. Their drawings were transformed into 60x60 cm large golden reliefs and incorporated into the artwork. The drawings tell us about all facets of the future vision and main values of our younger generation: family, friends, love, motherland, nature, global ecosystem and peace. The golden disk represents a coin and the Sun: the symbol of hope, life, perpetual movement, inspiration and spirituality. After the exhibition, OUR SUN will be symbolically dismantled: each relief will be returned to its author to complete the cycle of these events.


Photo: Vents Āboltiņš

The INTERACTIVE SPACE of the exhibition is a place where all visitors – large and small – can get a pencil, feel the relief on the coins, take home their drawings, listen to stories of experts and study the drawings selected for the OUR SUN object.

The exhibition will become a visually rich adventure – its innovative solutions will evoke emotions, will be engaging and educational for visitors of all generations.

Text by Inese Baranovska

Exhibition curator

Inese Baranovska,
Head of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design /
Latvian National Museum of Art

Author of the exhibition’s artistic concept

Artūrs AnaltsVariant Studio

Graphic identity of the exhibition

Edgars Zvirgzdiņš, graphic designer

Curator of education programme

Anna Pūtele, Exhibition Curator /
Latvian National Museum of Art

Technical implementation of the exhibition

Design bureau Yes We Can


National History Museum of Latvia,
Latvian National Library, National Archives of Latvia,
Latvian National Museum of Natural History, Latvian War Museum, National Archives of Latvia,Latvian Firefighting Museum, Latvian Museum of Architecture,
Museum of Literature and Music, Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, Riga Porcelain Museum, 
UAB Lietuvos monetų kalykla (Lithuania)


The main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art /
4th Floor Exhibition Halls and Cupola Hall (5th floor)
Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1, Riga

Related press releases