The Artists’ Union of Latvia (AUL) is the largest professional creative organization in the field of visual arts in Latvia, which owns a unique collection of works of art – the AUL Museum. AUL supports the creative work of its members (around 820), organizes exhibitions and other artistic activities in Latvia and abroad and actively participates in the discussion, development and implementation of the state cultural policy. The AUL was granted the public benefit organization status in 2006. The activities of AUL have been significant in the development of Latvian culture and visual arts, in its stylistic diversity in various stages of history. AUL was founded on April 17, 1941.
The former chairmen of AUL have been artists:
Rūdolfs Pinnis, Head of the Fine Arts Department of the Latvian SSR (1940 – 1941);
Herberts Līkums, Chairman of the AUL Organizing Committee (1941 – 1942; 1944 – 1946);
Georgs Kruglovs, Chairman of the LSSR AU Organizing Committee (1942 – 1944);
Leo Svemps, Chairman of the AUL Organizing Committee (1946 – 1951);
Oto Skulme, Chairman of the AUL Board (1951 – 1953);
Arturs Lapiņš, Chairman of the AUL Board (1953 – 1956);
Leo Svemps, Chairman of the AUL Board (1956 – 1960);
Eduards Kalniņš, Chairman of the AUL Board (1960 – 1965);
Leo Svemps, Chairman of the AUL Board (1965 – 1968);
Edgars Iltners, Chairman of the AUL Board (1968 – 1982);
Džemma Lija Skulme, Chairman of the AUL Board (1982 – 1992);
Juris Petraškevičs, President of the AUL (1992 – 1994);
Egils Rozenbergs, President of the AUL (1994 – 2005);
Mārtiņš Heimrāts, Presidents of the AUL (2005 – 2011);
Igors Dobičins, President of the AUL since 2011.
The Artists’ Union of Latvia possesses a unique collection of artworks from the latter half of the 20th century, which began to be acquired in 1957. On September 27, 2001, this collection became that of the newly established AUL Museum. In 2014, buildings and collection were unified as the Museum of the Artists’ Union of Latvia (AUL Museum) complex.
The museum includes its extensive collection (around 16,000 units, including 5,000 works that have been awarded the status of official inclusion in The Joint Catalogue of the National Holdings of Museums), artistic, creatively designed buildings, art workshops and creative equipment – the only industrial complex of its kind in the Latvian cultural industry that continues to be used today. The buildings of the museum – “the Artists’ House”, 11. novembra krastmala 35, Riga, and Zvartava Castle have been granted the status of a State protected cultural monument.
The AUL Museum – a living, thought-provoking museum, featuring the shining personalities of Džemma Lija Skulme, Leo Svemps, Boriss Bērziņš, Jānis Pauļuks, Gunārs Krollis, Lea Davidova-Medene, Juris Mauriņš, Maija Nora Tabaka, Bruno Strautiņš, Rūdolfs Heimrāts, Silvija Šmidkena, Kristaps Ģelzis, Andris Breže, and other artists who realize innovative ideas through art. The collection of the AUL Museum is regularly expanded. Works from the AUL Museum collection are actively requested by other museums and exhibition halls in Latvia.
Exhibitions of the AUL Museum has grown and expanded taking up the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors of the building at 11. novembra krastmala 35, the creative quarter “Kombināts MĀKSLA”, Gaujas iela 1, 3, 5, 9, Riga, AUL Museum at Veca Bikernieku iela 49, Riga, as well Zvartava Castle, Ape Region (approx. 150 km from Riga). The museum also hosts various events, lectures, discussions and symposia.
The Museum of the Artists’ Union of Latvia (AUL Museum) Exhibitions:
The current exhibition and permanent exhibitions of the AUL Museum and on the 1st–5th floors of 11. novembra krastmala 35, Riga;
Exhibition of artwork on the Gauja Street Promenade, in the creative quarter “Kombināts MĀKSLA”, Gaujas iela 1, 3, 5, 9, Riga;
The current exhibition and sculpture exhibition of the AUL Museum, Gaujas iela 1, Riga;
The current exhibition and ceramic exhibition of the AUL Museum, Gaujas iela 5, Riga;
Outdoor exhibition “Environmental Objects and Sculpture”, Gaujas iela 1, 5, Riga;
Contemporary outdoor object and graffiti exhibition in the AUL Square, Gaujas iela 5, Riga;
Outdoor object creation and restoration accommodation “A. Folca Labyrinth” at Gaujas iela 9, Riga;
Contemporary outdoor object and ceramic exhibition “Biķeri” at Vecā Biķernieku iela 49, Riga;
AUL Museum textile, painting and sculpture exhibition in Zvartava Castle, Ape Municipality.