Discover Riga’s cultural heritage online

On the occasion of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, we invite you to explore Baltic cultural heritage anytime, anywhere with new collections and exhibitions on the Google Cultural Institute platform.

Today the collection is being enriched with curated stories from new partners: the National Library of Latvia, Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991, Art Museum Riga Bourse, Museum of Romans Suta and Aleksandra Belcova, Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and Latvian National Museum of Art. Showcasing Baltic history and art in the rest of the region, new collections from the National Archives of Estonia and Lithuanian Art Museum are now also available on the site. Many cultural events are held in Riga this year and Latvian institutions are embracing new responsibilities that come with the digital age.

Artis Pabriks, Member of the European Parliament said: I am proud to see that digital priorities are truly translated in 2015 thanks to cultural stories emerging from the partnerships between Google and Latvian institutions.

The National Library of Latvia presents a unique exhibition “My, Your, Our Riga 100 Years Ago” which literally transports you to the city of Riga through maps, documents and pictures during the 18th century until the beginning of World War I in 1914. The story of the city is told in five theme based branches and concludes with an image of a diary by a German schoolgirl, E. Urdewitsch, with one laconic entry on the 78th page of her diary stating, “Germany has declared war on Russia,” which marks the end of her childhood as well as of the 19th-century Riga."
Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.18.33 AM.png

The Museum of Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991 on the other hand provides extraordinary pictures of the Berlin Wall graffitis depicting the Latvian 1989 related movements. The project is a historical documentation of rebellious inscriptions, among others entitled “Freedom for Baltic States”. It offers a sneak peak of street art and paintings on the West Berlin side directed against the Soviet regime, and some of them were created by Latvians in exile.
Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 5.05.14 PM.png

With its main historical building currently closed to visitors, discover Latvian art heritage further from the Latvian National Museum of Art with a selection of works and insight into the past of Latvian painting. The online exhibition, “An Insight Into Latvian Culture Canon. Visual Art” features most outstanding works by the classics of several generations including Kārlis Hūns, Jūlijs Feders and more.

The Secret of Art is in the Details exhibit brings you to look into details of art pieces in the collection of The Art Museum Riga Bourse. Dive into Latvian modernism, paintings and graphics thanks to the Art of Roman Suta exhibition curated by the Museum of Romans Suta and Aleksandra Beļcova. Or explore Porcelain Art from the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.12.58 AM.png

From Lithuania and Estonia, respectively, the Lithuanian Art Museum shares its network of museums in Vilnius, Klaipėda, Palanga, Juodkrantė, which contain more than 200,000 pieces in fine arts, applied art and folk art. The National Archives of Estonia’s online exhibit, "Tartu 1914-1918,” shows how everyday life in Tartu and its surrounding areas were affected by the first World War in Estonia.

Take time to browse and learn more about the history and art from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia thanks to new technologies and the open web. We believe putting historical material on the Internet and organizing it in a comprehensive way not only gives more people access but also preserves these diverse perspectives for future generations.

Posted by Agata Wacławik-Wejman, Head of Public Policy, Central and Eastern Europe