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With the Support of Rietumu Bank Charity Fund, a Unique Set of Furniture is Restored

25-Mar-2015 / Charity & Sponsorship Museum of Decorative Art and Design has completed the restoration of a unique set of furniture made according to the sketches of Julijs Madernieks. The restoration was financed by Rietumu Bank Charity Fund.

Rietumu Bank Charity Fund actively cooperates with Latvian museums. The first result of this year’s cooperation is the restoration of a set of furniture made according to the sketches of Julijs Madernieks which was completed by the Museum of Decorative Art and Design and which Rietumu Bank Charity Fund supported with its target donation.

Julijs Madernieks (1870–1955) is master of Applied and Decorative Arts, one of the most outstanding Latvian artists, interior designers and ornament masters of the 20th century. He taught composition and drawing at A. Birgele School of Applied Arts, was one of the most active art critics in the press of the previous century. In 1904 he established his own J. Madernieks Drawing and Painting Workshop, where a number of recognised Latvian artists studied, such as Ansis Cirulis, Niklavs Strunke, Augusts Prande and others.

The collection of the Museum of Decorative Art and Design includes pieces of furniture made according to the sketches of Madernieks – a desk and a chair. These are decorated with traditional Latvian signs, which is characteristic for the works of J. Madernieks.

In the opinion of art experts, the set of furniture which has been restored with the support of Rietumu Bank Charity Fund, is a unique sample of the “Latvian style” interior of the inter-war period. It will be seen in the main exposition of the museum.

J. Madernieks is deservedly considered to be the one of the founders of Latvian national and professional applied art. In the first half of the 20th century Julijs Madernieks joined the professional artists who, being inspired by the first Latvian national awakening, developed the opportunities of applied arts, by creating sketches of carpets, furniture and dinnerware.

In the early 20th century, interior design formed a significant part of the activities of Madernieks – he designed the decorative interior of apartments and made sketches of furniture. Regrettably, the bulk of the works of the author have not been preserved to this day.

“We are very much pleased to see Rietumu Bank Charity Fund among the museum’s friends. The provided support is very important – it allows historical objects to be kept and preserved in good condition.

Many of us own such items which we inherit or purchase. However, regrettably, we are not always aware of their historical value. Therefore, I would appeal to every person to take care of such items, so that they may also be passed on to the next generations,” said the Chief Curator of the Museum of Decorative Art and Design collection Velta Raudzepa.

This project is another example of the cooperation between Rietumu Bank Charity Fund and the Museum of Decorative Art and Design. In summer 2014, with the support of the Fund, the museum collection was supplemented with items made in the 1960s-1970s, for example, art textile by the Latvian textile artist Ella Udre-Dviele (1904–1990).

“We have established long-term cooperation with Latvian museums of art, including with the Museum of Decorative Art and Design. There are many examples of this cooperation where we have helped to acquire interesting artefacts of applied art for supplementing museum collections.

This museum, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting in Riga – it demonstrates a wide range of daily usage items, the museum exposition shows the development of applied arts in the course of the 20th century. Museum of Decorative Art and Design has a very interesting programme of exhibitions and, what is especially attractive, is that the museum is continuously developing by participating in international exhibitions and adding new exhibits to its collection. Our fruitful cooperation will certainly be continued,” noted the Chairman of the Board of Rietumu Bank Charity Fund, Inga Sina.

Eleonora Gailisha
Mass Media and Public Relations
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