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Museum, Art, History

Riga Art Nouveau Centre

The Riga Art Nouveau Centre is the only museum in the Baltics that provides a thorough overview of the artistic movement’s historical legacy and provides an authentic setting for learning about and enjoying Art Nouveau in a Riga apartment from the early 20th century.
 |  Borena Kuliashvili  | 

One of Riga’s newest museums is the Riga Art Nouveau Center. After a careful investigation of the property, the apartment’s interiors were faithfully reconstructed to reflect those of 1903 so that guests may experience Art Nouveau in all of its glory, from home design to the smallest details like door and window knobs.

Open the door and imagine:

  • How the former residents of the apartment entertained their visitors while sipping tea and discussing recent opera performances, current events in politics, new Parisian fashion trends, and Riga news in the drawing room, one of the museum’s focal points covered with floral patterns,
  • As they sipped glasses of wine and sat by the fireplace in the opulent lounge around the turn of the 20th century, people imagined:
  • The frequency of activity in the kitchen, where the lady of the house or a maid spent a lot of time ensuring that everyone in the home was comfortable,
  • The dining room, the largest and most impressive room in the apartment, was furnished with local craftsmen’s creations on par with the finest examples of the era from Europe. What etiquette were observed and how people acted while seated at the table,
  • How business meetings were conducted in the cabinet before guests were allowed to view the host’s collection of artwork and antiques.

The museum’s other rooms are also open to visitors and feature restored wall and ceiling paintings, stained-glass windows, tile floors in the kitchen, oaken wall panels, furniture, paintings and other artwork, apparel, and actual artifacts from the time period. The museum also conducts themed exhibitions and engaging educational activities for both adults and kids in addition to the permanent show.

The apartment’s past

The museum is housed in the same flat that Konstantins Peksens, a prominent Latvian architect, lived and worked in until 1907. As Peksens’ private dwelling, the apartment building on Alberta Street was constructed in 1903. Together with architecture student Eizens Laube at the time, Peksens and Laube created the structure.

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