Gallery Centrs to Open Exhibition ‘Aspazija/Rainis: Rebel/Humanist. The Story of Two Latvian Poets’

Foto: Vitālijs Vinogradovs. Izstāde "Aspazija/Rainis: dumpiniece/humānists" Parīzē, UNESCO galevenajā mītnē

Photo: Vitālijs Vinogradovs

From September 2 till September 14, the sash arcade of Gallery Centrs, on historic Rīdzene street (Audēju street 16, Riga Old Town) will hold the Association of Memorial Museums’ (AOMM) exhibition ‘Aspazija/Rainis: Rebel/Humanist. The Story of Two Latvian Poets.’

Exposition of this show was created honouring 150th jubilee of the great Latvian poet couple and made part of the program of public diplomacy and culture of Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Until now, exhibition ‘Aspazija/Rainis: Rebel/Humanist. The Story of Two Latvian Poets’ has been presented in the Headquarters of UNESCO in Paris, France, in Lvov, Ukraine, in the Museum of V. and A. Vasnecovs in Kirov, Russia, as well as in Janka Kupala State Museum of Literature in Minsk and in the Local Lore Museum of Vitebsk Region in Belorussia.

Exhibition ‘Aspazija/Rainis: Rebel/Humanist. The Story of Two Latvian Poets’ offers a narrative of both literary figures within the context of the development of Europe as a whole at the turn 19th and 20th centuries when, against the background of collapse of the empires, a wide range of nations started nurturing dreams of their state autonomy and the air was thick with ideas of united Europe.

This was the period when Latvian professional literature, political thought, and system of education emerged and developed. Work of Aspazija and Rainis proved to lay a significant basis of Latvian national awareness and culture. Their contribution has deeply influenced further lines of creative work of literary men of several generations, as well as philosophy, political culture and even everyday language – by his artistic endeavour and translations of foreign literature, Rainis has introduced and actualized several hundreds of additions to national vocabulary, which still hold their place as integral part of Latvian literary language.

The exhibition was created by the Association of Memorial Museums; the author of its concept and text is writer Pauls Bankovskis, the artist of exhibition is Kaspars Perskis.

Creation and presentation of exhibition is enabled by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, and supported – by Gallery Centrs. The exhibition is enclosed in the program of the Poetry Days 2015 as well.

On Rainis’ birthday, September 11, the exhibition will be increased by several events. All day through, from 12 to 17 o’ clock, the Poetry mail of the Poetry Days will operate on Rīdzenes street, offering the opportunity to send friends and loved ones special Rainis and Aspazija 150th jubilee postcards to any destination in Latvia free of charge. National calligraphers (Latvian Association of Calligraphers) will participate in creation of post card, rendering anyone’s selected Rainis or Aspazija quotation into a unique work of art and a gift to their recipients. The bodies ensuring support of Poetry Mail are Latvia Mail (Latvijas Pasts), SC ‘Antalis’, and ‘McĀbols poligrāfija.’

On September 11, at 12:30 PM, the presentation event of the special Latvia Mail postage stamp booklet dedicated to Rainis and Aspazija, while, from 10:00 AM, the special first day stamping of the postage stamp booklet will be held.

Parallel to Poetry Mail and the event of stamping of special postage stamp, Gallery Centrs will invite participants to Ieva Helmūte’s creative laboratory ‘Graphics School’. For further information –

In spring 2014, on suggestion of the Ministry of Culture working group formed to prepare the proceedings of the year of Rainis and Aspazija’s jubilees, the National Cultural council agreed to announce year 2015 the Jubilee year of Rainis and Aspazija, urging the state, municipal and non-governmental organizations to engage in its proceedings with their initiatives for planning and holding events and other activities aimed to foreground the personalities of Rainis and Aspazija and the cultural heritage they have left. Rainis and Aspazija 150th jubilee is included in the UNESCO 2014-2015 calendar of red letter days.

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