White and Painted. Riga Porcelain from 1950s–1960s

6.10.2023 – 11.02.2024


Porcelain production in Riga has a long history. In 1963, two large companies from the 19th century, the nationalized successors of the Kuznetsov Porcelain Factory, founded in 1841, and the Jessen Porcelain Factory, founded in 1886, were first merged to form the Riga Porcelain and Faience Factory, which was later renamed the Riga Porcelain Factory.

Initially, the main designs used were taken from the industry of interwar period which – on its part – were taken from other major manufacturers of the period, such as the legendary German porcelain manufacturers Rosenthal and Thomas, but in the early 1950s the task was taken over by the artists who had been employed by the company. In the case of the services produced in Riga, the author of the form may also have been the designer of the decoration, but this may have become the task of another designer. There were usually many  different versions of the decoration of one service. Initially decors also from the interwar period were used, in the 1950s new decorations were developed locally. During 1958 – 1962 first silkscreen decals were made in Riga factory and with that – possibility to create original decorations and make the decoration process quickly and produce them in large quantities.

The forms produced in Riga also had a direct influence on Estonia. Many of the designs from this period were used as blanks in the porcelain painting studio of the Art Products Factory in Tallinn, and thus the hand-painted forms with decorative designs found their way into Estonian homes as the creative vision of local artists.

At ETDM, you can see the work of nearly 20 designers who worked at the porcelain factory in Riga between 1950 and 1960.  Form designs by Anatolijs Travņikovs, Zina Ulste, Levons Agadžanjans and decors by Olga Seļezņova, Tamāra Meija-Bukovska, Beatrise Kārkliņa  will be featured among others. 

The exhibition is a collaboration with the Riga Porcelain Museum and will remain open until 21 January.