Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the museum Riga Art Nouveau Centre, starting from 24 May the museum will open the exhibition Irises where these flowers will bloom in a variety of ways.
Irises were particularly popular during the Art Nouveau period. They inspired painters and craftsmen alike. The exhibition shows the high professionalism of the early 20th century artists and their ability to embody the beauty of irises in paintings, chinaware, textiles and other objects.The collection of the museum of the Riga Art Nouveau Centre contains numerous items decorated with iris flowers. Iris motifs were widely used in metal art as engravings on various household items such as trays, plates and kitchen utensils. These items were mostly produced in different European factories. A metal decanter and a business card plate complete with a romanticised female figure were manufactured in the Württemberg Metal Goods Factory in Geislingen. Manufactured by the Deffner firm in Esslingen, Germany, a teapot which is placed on a stand, is a good sample displaying the variety of shapes, materials and decorative elements. The legs of the stand are decorated with exquisite iris flowers. Irises were also popular décors on porcelain and faience items. Excellent examples are the hand-painted cup and saucer with violet irises produced in the china painting workshop of J. Jaksch & Co. The set Iris produced in M. S. Kuznetsov’s porcelain and faience factory became an Art Nouveau trademark. Its teaware has a functional shape that is elegantly complemented with an iris décor. Originally, this tea set was designed in the Wallerfangen earthenware factory of Villeroy & Boch where its production began around 1900. The museum collection includes products from both factories. This décor was so popular that it was also used on other items manufactured in M. S. Kuznetsov’s porcelain and faience factory, for example, on the products produced in Volkhov’s branch. The production of the Iris set continued in the Riga factory also after WWI. The pitcher produced in M. S. Kuznetsov’s porcelain and faience factory is very appealing with its colourful accents.
The porcelain collection Iris by ceramicist Ženija Loginova is a good addition to the exhibition.
The exhibition was created in cooperation with the Latvian National Museum of Art, the Art Museum Riga Bourse, the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation Museum, the Rundāle Palace Museum, the Jūrmala City Museum, the Aizkraukle History and Art Museum and private collectors.
During the exhibition, i.e. on 26 May, at 12:00, it is possible to attend the master class of botanical illustration. The number of participants is limited, so please call 67181465 and register in advance if you want to take part. Children visiting the museum will be offered colouring sheets with iris motifs while the exhibition is still on.
A new souvenir line with a mug and plate has been designed especially for this exhibition and its decorative element, namely, irises, is the same as on one of the exhibits – a cup dating back to the early 20th century.
The exhibition will be open at the museum Riga Art Nouveau Centre till 1 September 2019.