The Latvian National Museum of Art: Dialogues on the Basis of European History

  • Abstract:
    In 2014 Riga will become the European Capital of Culture, and the various events that are being planned will offer a unique opportunity to reveal the fact that Latvia and its capital city belong to the common values of European culture. One of the projects of the Latvian National Museum of Art will be an exhibition, “1914,” which will be dedicated to World War I and the countries which gained independence during that period. Why should there be a focus on the war? The purpose of the exhibition is to create the network of national museums using resources related to visual and artistic expression. This means that museums today become a mediator for the intellectual and creative environment. The events of the World War I were both tragic and favourable for Europe. The continent’s value system underwent cardinal changes, and there were enormous sacrifices which were born at a time when national factors were identified and Eastern European countries could, under the shadow of the conflict among major powers, attain independent statehood. In the aftermath of the First World War new countries were created: Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, which radically changed the geopolitical situation of Europe. The main idea is to show Eastern and Central European artists of the First World War that eye witnessed and depicted war in art. For the first time in a single exposition will be displayed works from the National Art Museums of the Eastern and Central European countries that have acquired independence – the Latvian, Estonian, Polish, Finnish, etc. – artists reflecting the theme, on the following topics: Front, Man and the everyday life of the War and , Modernism.