The Latvian Museum of Photography will move to its temporary location at Kronvalda Boulevard 4 in spring 2024.
Due to the state of the current building at Mārstaļu Street 8 and the need for reconstruction, the Latvian Museum of Photography will move to temporary premises in the building of the Latvian Academy of Arts at Kronvalda Boulevard 4 in the spring of 2024. To successfully move the museum collection, the historical museum headquarters will be closed on December 30th of this year.
The Latvian Museum of Photography is the only memory institution in Latvia dedicated to the medium of photography. The museum was founded in 1990, and on May 18, 1993, the permanent exposition “History of Latvian Photography. 1839–1941” was opened to the public, which introduces the development stages of the history of photography in Latvia in chronological order. This year the museum’s permanent exhibition turned thirty years old. Since its opening, a wide programme of changing exhibitions has been offered, where the medium of photography is multifaceted in the works of Latvian and foreign authors, giving an idea of the historical development of photography, as well as contemporary photography.
For more than three decades, the museum has been situated in an old merchant building, which is located in one of the oldest building areas of Riga (current address Mārstaļu street 8), that underwent renovation in the eighties of the last century. Since the current museum premises were planned and created in the 20th century – it is necessary to modernize the infrastructure for storing and exhibiting the collection, as well as to adapt to the public building function requirements of the 21st century.
The solution for the operation of a competitive museum and provision of new premises was found in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and the Latvian Academy of Arts (LMA), arriving at a joint decision on the use of the premises of Kronvalda Boulevard 4, a building under the management of LMA.
“When two years ago, the Ministry of Culture bought back the building at 4 Kronvalda Boulevard from the University of Latvia for the needs of the Academy of Arts, we already expected that it would not only be a home for various departments of the academy and the study process of international programmes but would also develop as a versatile, accessible and interesting cultural place for the general public. Now the Latvian Museum of Photography is temporarily moving into it, opening mutually enriching additional opportunities for interaction, which will certainly be appreciated by the public interested in cultural processes,” comments State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture Dace Vilsone.
On the other hand, LMA Vice-dean Antra Priede emphasizes: “The arrival of the Latvian Museum of Photography in the premises of the Latvian Academy of Arts at Kronvalda Boulevard 4 marks new forms of cooperation that could develop in various research directions, ensuring a new ecosystem of knowledge creation. We see a benefit for both institutions in this synergy, as the co-created creative and scientific capital will be transferred to the students, and will also open up opportunities for new infrastructures for research and creative experiments.”
In the future, the museum team is planning substantive and spatial changes for further development and growth. Aware of the development of the medium of photography, as well as the changes in museum functions in the competitive market of modern culture, the Latvian Museum of Photography plans to develop a new exposition concept and operating programme. We believe that this is an important step to improve both the principles of the museum’s operation and to promote interest in the history of photography and research. Our goal is to create interactions between historical heritage and contemporary photography, as well as to create an environment for discussions about the meaning and development directions of the medium. In the temporary premises, wider access to the museum’s library and the study of collection items will be provided, as well as various public events and seminar cycles will be organized.
We would like to inform you that in connection with the relocation process, from December 1, 2023, access to the collection will be temporarily unavailable, and from December 30, 2023, the current museum exposition and exhibition halls are planned to be closed for visitors. We invite everyone interested to take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the history of photography and the offer of the collection, as well as take a last look at the museum’s historical exhibition.
Head of the museum
Photo: Didzis Grodzs. Kronvalda Boulevard 4, 2023
Photo: LFM publicity photo. Permanent exhibition of the Latvian Museum of Photography, 2023