The Red Album of Riga’s Snapshots
The collection of photographs of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation has been in the possession of the album for at least 80 years; yet we know little about its author and its origin. Called “The Red Album” because of its red cloth covers, it contains 110 snapshots of various sizes, documenting Riga from about 1895 to 1904.
The photos do not stand out with high technical quality; however, they offer certain unusual angles and a more liberal view of the urban environment. We can also see places that professionals did not consider worth perpetuating, such as the Klīversala windmill, a teahouse in the Riga Moscow suburb or a country house near Lake Ķīšezers.
The question about the author and album compiler is thought-provoking. Presumably, it might have been a German amateur photo enthusiast from Riga.
Many of the photos have obviously not undergone technically perfect development process, resulting in some chemical damage. It is very possible that the anonymous photographer had some connection with the building on Aleksandra Street 1 (now the territory of the hotel “Latvija” on Brīvības Street), because, time and again, there are photos that have been taken from the roof of this building.
The photos of the album can be viewed on the virtual exhibition platform by clicking on the link – exhibition items.
The description of exhibition can be viewed on the virtual exhibition platform of the Joint Catalogue of the National Holdings of Museums of Latvia by clicking on link:
The insight into the exhibition – photos can be viewed on the virtual exhibition platform of the Joint Catalogue of the National Holdings of Museums of Latvia by clicking on exhibition items link:
The virtual exhibition was prepared by Lauma Lanceniece, Photo Collection Manager of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation.
“The Red Album” cover.
Insight into “The Red Album”.
Teahouse in the Moscow suburb of Riga. Late 19th – early 20th cent.
Windmill at Klīversala. Late 19th – early 20th cent.
Riga City Hall. Late 19th – early 20th cent.