Catalogue of the European Capital of Culture Exhibition „1914” dedicated to the centennial of the outbreak of the First World War.
The exhibition shows for the first time part of the unique collection held at Rundāle Palace Museum: architectural details and interior elements, works of art and religious objects that have suffered in war, in the upheavals of regime change and in the ravages of time. The section “Riflemen” shows photographs from the Latvian War Museum, the National History Museum of Latvia and private collections. The section “Eyewitnesses”, on its turn, provides the opportunity of an acquaintance not only with the works of Latvian Classical Modernism, but also with paintings, graphic art and sculpture from the countries that gained their independence in the First World War.
Altogether, 17 of the most prestigious art museums and national galleries from 11 countries are represented.
A contemporary viewpoint on the historical events is offered by three Latvian artists, Ēriks Božis, Krišs Salmanis and Andris Breže.
The exhibition “1914” has been created specially for the Arsenāls exhibition hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art, a historic building that was originally intended for military needs, namely, as a weapons store (1832). Following repeated changes in the function of the building which accompanied changes in the political regime, in 1988 the old arsenal was adapted to serve as a museum and exhibition hall.