Institute of Art History of the Latvian Academy of Art is the only institution working on fundamental studies of Latvian and Latvia-related visual art and architecture as well as on the improvement of theoretical and methodological basis of art-historical research. The Institute’s strategic aim is to study, interpret and popularise the phenomena of early and recent Latvian visual art, using both traditional forms of publications (collected articles, magazines, dissertations, reports in scientific conferences) and possibilities opened up by the latest technologies (the Internet, digital resources); results of research are used for study programs at the Latvian Academy of Art and collaboration with other institutions of research and education in Latvia and abroad.

Directions of research

General research and interpretation of Latvia’s older and later art-historical phenomena in line with up to date standards is aimed at producing scientifically grounded conclusions, fostering studies and preservation of cultural values as well as establishing the specificity of Latvia’s art in the European context. Results of this project are implemented in the series of books, seven volumes in total. Three volumes have been published up to now; the most recent publication was released in 2019.

Organising annual Boris Wipper Memorial Readings followed by editions of collected articles from the series Materials for Latvian Art History.

Publication of the scientific magazine Art History and Theory (since 2003) aimed to introduce the latest achievements in art history and theory to the specialists of the field and other interested people in Latvia and abroad. Articles are available for the international audience in Central and Eastern European Online Library (CEEOL). The magazine is indexed at the Central European Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (CEJSH) and Kunstbibliotheken-Fachverbund  Florenz-München-Rom (Kubikat), SCOPUS.

Publications aimed at cultural education and scientific tourism in the form of guidebooks (the series Monuments of Art and Architecture in Riga) and digital resources.

Pedagogical work at the Latvian Academy of Art – courses of lectures for BA and MA programs (Iconography, Latest Developments in Latvian Art History), supervising, reviewing and publication of PhD dissertations, participation in the Doctoral Committee.

Individual research projects of Institute’s employees. Gathering of materials in archives and libraries, study of monuments of architecture and art in situ. Interpretation of findings and preparation of publications, perfection of skills in related institutions abroad.

Systematisation and archiving of visual materials entered into the ongoing project of visual data basis.