Celebration of Michael Eisenstein’s 150th Anniversary at the Museum Riga Art Nouveau Centre


On 6–24 September 2017, the Museum Riga Art Nouveau Centre offers its visitors a chance to have a closer look at Mikhail Eisenstein’s creative career.
The artist Margarita Fedina is a professional photographer from Moscow and a member of the Russian Union of Photo Artists who has dedicated her photo exhibition Mikhail Eisenstein’s Riga. Diagonals to the anniversary of the great master. She photographs historic buildings and interiors and more than 70 books have featured her photos. For more than 10 years Margarita has been taking pictures of Riga’s Art Nouveau architecture using different photographic techniques and methods.
This exhibition presents 20 photos from the artist’s creative project Art Nouveau. Collection of Diagonals. These photographs depict fragments of the buildings designed by civil engineer Mikhail Eisenstein showing them from a peculiar angle, i.e. diagonally. “I want to bring the elements of creativity and dynamics into the static and rigid photographs of architecture, and to achieve this, I use different angles, old cameras, soft-focus lenses, unusual techniques and other methods in my projects.” The “diagonal view” presented at the exhibition was first used in Riga, and the building at Elizabetes iela 10b was actually the first object to be photographed this way[I1] .
The museum Riga Art Nouveau Centre has prepared an illustrated brochure Civil Engineer Mikhail Eisenstein to provide more information about Mikhail Eisenstein and his works. The brochure includes the research by Dr Arch Agrita Tipāne focusing on Eisenstein’s contribution and the houses he designed in Riga. The brochure features photographs by Margarita Fedina taken in the summer of 2017 and historical materials from the Latvian State Historical Archives of the National Archives of Latvia. The publication provides a good outlook on the peculiar features of Eisenstein’s architecture, appreciating its significance in the context of the Art Nouveau architecture of Riga as well as Europe.
The visitors of the museum Riga Art Nouveau Centre will have a chance to buy a book Decorative Modernism of Riga dedicated to Mikhail Eisenstein’s 150th anniversary. It is written by Margarita Kabakchi, an art historian and researcher at Saint Petersburg State University, and published by the printing house Jumava.
Students of Latvian art schools are welcome to visit the website of the museum Riga Art Nouveau Centre at http://www.jugendstils.riga.lv/lat/gallery where the exhibition Floral Motifs and Sculptural Images in Riga’s Art Nouveau Architecture is dedicated to Mikhail Eisenstein in a virtual environment.
Mikhail Eisenstein was born on 5 September 1867, in Ukraine, to a family of Jewish merchants. He graduated from the Saint Petersburg Institute of Civil Engineering. His son is the famous film director Sergey Eisenstein. Mikhail Eisenstein built around 20 multi-storey masonry apartment houses in Riga and he is famous for his Art Nouveau buildings. Most of them, designed in a generous manner of Decorative Art Nouveau, stand out among architectural jewels authored by other architects of Riga. His buildings abound in vivid ornaments, unusually shaped windows, large female heads, bright bands of glazed bricks or ceramic tiles, glass and metal plates, decorative attic floors and many other elements. Almost all of the well-known buildings designed by Mikhail Eisenstein are located in the vicinity of Alberta and Strēlnieku Streets.