Museum of Decorative Arts and Design Opens Renovated Permanent Exhibitions

On 12 April 2022 the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (Skārņu ielā 10, Riga) opens the doors to the new permanent exhibitions, Classical Values and Design Process, displayed on the museum's 2nd and 3rd floors.

With support from the State Culture Capital Foundation's programme KultūrELPA, this spring the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (MDAD) presents to its visitors two new permanent exhibitions. The 2nd floor of the museum is devoted to Classical Values, including works previously not exhibited publicly, while the open-concept exhibition Design Process is presented on the 3rd floor in collaboration with H2E Design Studio, offering the opportunity to follow the evolution of Latvian design from the 1960s until nowadays.

Classical Values // 2nd Floor

The exhibition Classical Values, which tells about the period from late 19th century until the 1960s, will be accompanied by an audio guide introducing the most important Latvian masters such as, among many others, Jūlijs Madernieks, Ansis Cīrulis and their work. Texts in Latvian are voiced by actor Ģirts Krūmiņš from the New Riga Theatre, texts in Russian – by actor Anatolijs Fečins from the Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theatre, texts in English – by Mike Collier. It is noteworthy that for the first time in the history of Latvian museums the audio guide makes it possible to learn about the history design in Easy language. The audio tour in the museum requires a personal mobile phone and headphones, but the audio stories are also accessible from home or any other place with an internet connection. The audio guide is available free of charge on the profile of LNMM / DMDM on SoundCloud.

“Design in Latvia possess enormous potential, which is clear to every attentive observer,” admits designer and theoretician Jānis Borgs.

Design reveals the originality and values of our national culture. The exhibited items from the museum's collection as well as archival materials provide an overview of the diversity of design, testify to the points of contact between unique and industrial design, underline the continuity of creative thought and traditions.

Design Process // 3rd Floor

Design Process, or the story of design from the 1960s to nowadays, is presented in the exhibition on the 3rd floor as an experimental studio, where everyone will be able to study and participate. The history of Latvian design is elucidated here with the help of episodes in five equally important thematic “stations” – Nature. Environment. Man, Modern City, Public Space, Form and Material, Open Borders. Each informative section is accompanied by the most outstanding works. Particular attention is devoted to three legendary Latvian designers and artists – Valdis Celms, Jānis Borgs and Arturs Riņķis. The exhibition includes best fragments from interviews.

Design has always strived to be contemporary – therefore in the future these exhibition halls will host excursions, creative workshops and educational events that are open to all – design experts, enthusiasts or passers-by.

Rīgas audums. Patterns of an Era // 3rd Floor Vestibule

In 2009, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design received a gift – several voluminous albums bound in brown cloth with small fragments of fabrics glued to their pages. These are samples of silk fabrics manufactured in the textile factory Rīgas audums, which are brought to life by the virtual reality exhibition Rīgas audums. Patterns of an Era. The project, which was produced in collaboration with tech company Vividly, was first shown in 2021 in Białystok, Poland, earning considerable acclaim. Each museum visitor will now have the wonderful opportunity to leaf through the fabrics, see each of them close up and peek behind the scenes of textile art.