From Baroque to the Present Day


What Riga Porcelain Factory in the 20th century Latvia has to do with “Kahla” Porcelain Factory in Germany? What J.Jakšs’ trading house in the 19th century Rigas has to do with “TC Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co” in Great Britain? What the Biron family in the 18th century has to do with the Royal Porcelain Manufactory in Berlin? The answer is - porcelain.

Objects made of porcelain, clay, faience and other ceramic materials allow you to get acquainted with people's daily lives and celebrations over several centuries, tracing the changes in perceptions of the beautiful and the useful in Europe from the 17th century to the present day. As time has moved on, porcelain has preserved shapes that reflect the current events of the time, such as the overseas voyages from which coffee and cocoa beans were brought home. This now commonplace drink was once served exclusively in dishes specifically shaped for the purpose - cocoa and coffee sets. There are also a number of types of objects that are no longer relevant today and are evidence of ancient times and the habits of the people who came before us. Cultural and historical aspects are intertwined with the political history of European countries - empires and their fall, the dominance of different religions and ideologies in certain regions at different times.

Exhibition “From Baroque to the Present Day. European Culture and Lifestyle in Ceramics” explores the history of art and design in porcelain from Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Estonia, inviting visitors to see what is distinctive to each region, as well as to draw parallels and find commonalities.

The main curator of the exhibition is the International Ceramic Museum in Faenza (Italy). Eight other European museums working in ceramics, applied arts, design and history have contributed to the exhibition: Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague (Czech Republic), Estonian Museum of Applied Arts and Design, Tallinn (Estonia), Riga Porcelain Museum (Latvia), Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council (Latvia), Ceramics Museum and Art Gallery (Stoke-on-Trent, UK), Museum of Applied Arts (Belgrade, Serbia), Slovenian National Museum of Art (Ljubljana, Slovenia), González Martí National Museum of Ceramics and Applied Arts (Valencia, Spain), Porcelanikon - National Porcelain Museum (Hoenberg am Eger/Zelba, Germany).

Exhibition “From Baroque to the Present Day. European Culture and Lifestyle in Ceramics” has been shown in six countries since 2015: Serbia, Germany, Spain, Italy, the UK and Estonia. Riga is the final venue for the exhibition, and along with the collection of the Riga Porcelain Museum, porcelain from the collection of the Rundāle Palace Museum is included as a special exhibit.