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“Educating permanent and usually great temporary exhibitions in beautiful setting”

Museum of Decorative Art and Design
Ranked #64 of 223 things to do in Riga
Attraction details
Riga, Latvia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Educating permanent and usually great temporary exhibitions in beautiful setting”
Reviewed 23 October 2012

The main temporary exhibitions are displayed in the oldest (former) church in Riga and you can definitely feel its incredible atmosphere. Plus they are usually of excellent quality! The art-nouveau fashion is one of the biggest ones but will be terminated by the end of October 2012. If you are lucky, there might be another temporary exhibition on the stairs and second and third floor halls (usually ceramics, porcelain, glass etc.).
The permanent displays will teach you a lot about Latvian design and applied arts mostly during in between wars period when the country experienced its hey-days in many aspects. You can see pieces awarded et the World Expo in Paris, fine jewellery, tapestries (Latvia is renowned for those), furniture and more.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Andrea Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
285 reviews
168 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
“Good museum, but easy to miss from the street”
Reviewed 14 September 2012

The museum is in the Old Town, but it's on the busiest street in Riga for open-air stalls and vendors selling, among other things, amber. So you can easily be distracted and walk right by the museum!

Because it's in an old, restored Gothic church, the rooms upstairs are small and dark, with creaky floors. It is a bit difficult to take pictures of the exhibits, with areas of darkness, reflections off glass cases, and strong spotlights. But the main exhibit shows you that Latvian visual artists excelled not just in sculpture and painting, but produced stunning and high-quality textile objects (wall hangings; linens; carpets, etc.), as well as glassware and---perhaps their greatest stength in applied arts---exciting ceramic plates, plaques, bowls, tea services, etc.

The museum concentrates on Latvian artists' and craftspeoples' richest period of creativity, which was the first half of the 20th century. Visitors will especially like the colourful ceramics of Suta and Belcova (husband and wife).

Elsewhere, there are rooms devoted to temporary exhibitions.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Kirk M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A very special museum with full of contemporary art and great design, as just Riga can offer”
Reviewed 3 September 2012

great contemporary museum in a beautiful old church
There is also exhibit on the permanent collection my master art piece ¨Wonderbra¨, special prize of the 4th Riga Triennial of textile art.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank alegutierrezm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gambrills, MD
Level Contributor
137 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Textiles, ceramics, glass, wood and metal work”
Reviewed 1 September 2012

This museum is housed in what used to be St George's church, the oldest surviving religious stone building in Riga (built in 1204). There are permanent exhibits of 19th and 20th century textiles, ceramics, glass, wood and metal work, plus temporary exhibits. In August 2012 there was a temporary exhibit of mostly women's clothing from the Art Nouveau period, from the collection of fashion historian Aleksandr Vasilyev. This exhibit will remain until the end of October 2012 and is well worth seeing.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank emilysmom2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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