The Ceramics Collection The Ceramics Collection
Museum of Decorative Arts and Design

The Ceramics Collection

The collection characterizes the processes in the field of ceramics from the end of the 19th century to the present day.

Of all collections preserved at the museum the ceramics collection is the vastest and it comprises about 5000 artworks, including architectural ceramics, garden ceramics, ceramic and porcelain ware, decorative groups and figurines.

At the basis of the collection there are artworks executed in the styles of National Romanticism and Art Nouveau by Jēkabs Dranda, Pēteris Šteinbergs and Ansis Cīrulis. Thanks to the opening of the Ceramics Department at the Art Academy of Latvia in 1924 and the very successful teaching activities carried out by the founder of the department Professor Rūdolfs Pelše, ceramics enjoyed at the time the status of being the only discipline of decorative art providing professional education to students. 

Artworks by the porcelain painting studio Baltars ("Baltic Art") (1924-1928) are the highlight of the museum's porcelain collection. The studio was established by several outstanding Latvian painters and graphic artists -Romans Suta, Aleksandra Beļcova and Sigismunds Vidbergs. Gold and bronze medals awarded at the International Exhibition of Art and Industry in Paris in 1925 testify to the successful work of the studio Baltars. The collection contains also articles by porcelain painting studios Burtnieks and L'Ripors where artists Sigismunds Vidbergs and Niklāvs Strunke worked during the 1930s.

The ceramics collection characterising the post war period up to the 1980s contains a vast stock of ware design (services, vases) and decorative compositions. In the late 1960s garden ceramics, a new discipline of ceramics in Latvia started to originate. 

Contemporary artworks predominantly are of associative nature and complex in technologies, executed in porcelain, clay, stoneware in combination with metal and other unconventional for the discipline materials.