The Art Museums in Latvia in cooperation with Google Arts & Culture present the latest digital content

The International Museum Day is celebrated around the world on May 18, 2024. On this day, the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art, the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and the Romans Suta and Aleksandra Beļcova Museum, together with the other museums in the world, present the latest additions on the Google Arts & Culture platform – virtual tours and engaging stories about the history of museums, permanent exhibitions, and collection.

Google Arts & Culture is a non-profit Google initiative that works with around 3000 museums and cultural institutions from over 90 countries to provide free access to the world's cultural heritage for everyone and everywhere. It is a unique online platform that allows you to see high-resolution images and videos of works of art from various museums and galleries around the world, see the finest details of works of art, go on virtual tours of museums, and create online collections and stories.

The Latvian National Museum of Art and Google Arts & Culture have been cooperating since 2012, promoting the accessibility of the collections to wider groups of society and enhancing the recognition of the collections at the international level.

A high-quality offer online is especially essential for those groups of society for whom it is difficult to get to the physical environment of museums. This tool is also great for teachers and their students, as it offers rich visual materials and the opportunity to interact – both to create your personal art collection, to experiment with augmented reality and algorithms, to make selfies inspired by works of art, and to try other opportunities provided by technology.

The new offer provides an opportunity to virtually walk through the museums' unique buildings, appreciate their architecture and get to know the permanent exhibitions step by step. Stories prepared by museum specialists provide additional context and invite you to pay a closer look at details and symbols.

Screenshot from the Google Arts & Culture profile of the Latvian National Museum of Art. 2024. Publicity photo

The  Latvian National Museum of Artdisplays 199 works of art from the LNMA collection on the platform, including paintings, graphics, and sculptures. Among them are such masterpieces of Latvian art classics as Vilhelms Purvītis "Spring Waters (Maestoso)" (1910), Johans Valters "Boys Bathing" (1900) and Jēkabs Kazaks "Refugees" (1917). The virtual tour provides an opportunity to walk around one of the most impressive historicist-style buildings in the circle of Riga boulevards, as well as to see the permanent displays and one of the newest projects - the exhibition "Dismantling the Wall. Latvian Art 1985–1991", which talks about the processes of Latvian contemporary art during socio-political changes.

Screenshot from the Google Arts & Culture profile of the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE. 2024. Publicity photo

The largest collection of foreign art in Latvia can be viewed at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE. The museum's Google Arts & Culture profile displays 157 objects. Among them are the oldest items in the collection from Ancient Egypt and the pride of the collection – 17th-century Northern European painting. The newly created virtual tour provides an opportunity not only to view the architectural monument of national importance, the restored 19th century Riga Stock Exchange building, but also the museum's permanent exhibitions. Today, the historical interiors of the building interact with the museum's collections, forming a unified ensemble.

Screenshot from the Google Arts & Culture profile of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. 2024. Publicity photo

On the profile of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, you can familiarize yourself with the excellent porcelain collection and examine 52 objects. The museum has also prepared several stories, for example, a story about its building, whose thick masonry walls store Riga's more than 800-year history, and a story about the innovator and one of the first professional Latvian designers, Jūlijs Madernieks. The highlight of the museum's virtual tours is the visit to the exhibition "Design Process", which introduces Latvian design from the 1960s to the present day.

Screenshot from the Google Arts & Culture profile of the Romans Suta and Aleksandra Beļcova Museum. 2024. Publicity photo

At the Romans Suta and Aleksandra Beļcova  Museum, visitors have an opportunity to explore the former residence of the artists, where they can immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the 1920s and 1930s – evident through the preserved furniture and other household items, as well as paintings, drawings, sketches, and photos. The museum’s online collection features 50 artworks and gives a chance to learn more about the influence of modernism and cubism styles on Latvian art, as well as the life journey of the artist couple.

Google Arts & Cultureplatform exists as a website as well as a mobile app for Android and iOS. 

In the future, the museum plans to enrich the online collections on the Google Arts & Culture platform, as well as to create other innovative solutions thanks to the technical capabilities of the platform.

More information

Annija Sauka
Head of the Communication Department / 
Latvian National Museum of Art