Up until 17 September 2017, the National History Museum of Latvia will be holding an exhibition for a wide audience ‘The Latvians: An Interpretation. Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition of 1896’. This exhibition will reflect the exhibition that was held in Riga 120 years ago.
The Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition was held in Riga in 1896. It was one of the biggest events dedicate to Latvian culture in the 19th century. The exhibition had presented the country’s growing national self-consciousness, had provided a look at cultural heritage and Latvia’s version of history and different accomplishments in different areas of contemporary culture.
Eight temporary pavilions were built in a location between the modern Kronvalda Boulevard and the city channel (K.Valdemara Street to Mikela Street). The exhibition provided a panoramic view on Latvia’s cultural and historical life: eighteen rooms provided visitors with a look at more than eight thousands exhibits. People who came over to the exhibition were offered a look at ethnographic and historic maps of Latvia’s regions, statistical and anthropological information about Latvians, their traditional apparel and jewellery, documents about Latvian language, education, literature, music, theatre and art.
The modern exhibition has multiple objectives. First of all, to present and remind people about the Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition, it contribution to the preservation of Latvia’s culture and history, organizers say.
Secondly, provide a look at the state of Latvia’s social structure in the 19th century. Organizers of the original exhibition aimed to present Latvia’s ethnography and history, as well as present social accomplishments, the formation of the national culture and economic change.
Thirdly, many of the values presented at the exhibition of 1896 – traditional cultural heritage, Latvian art, accomplishments in music and literature in the 19th century, song and dance tradition and others – reflect the values still present in modern Latvia.
In addition to the rich collection of exhibits and modern interactive contents, visitors will also be able to have a look at a miniature of the original 1896 exhibition.