Exhibition Two Juliuses

From October 20, visitors can enjoy the exhibition Two Juliuses organized by the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum in cooperation with the Gulbene Municipality Museum of History and Art, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the Latvian National Museum of Art, the Gulbene Art School, and the Art Palace of Georgia – Museum of Cultural History within the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Embassy of Latvia in Azerbaijan, and the State Cultural Capital Foundation of Latvia.

The exhibition title recalls the name of the annual contest that has been held in Gulbene since 2018. The contest is dedicated to the creativity of Julius Straume and Julius Madernieks, well-known artists born in Gulbene. They are famous for laying the basis of Latvian professional applied art and design in the first half of the last century.

The name of Julius Straume is also linked with Azerbaijani carpet weaving. The Caucasian Handicraft Committee was established in Tiflis in 1899. Many workshops worked under its auspices, including those on the territory of modern Azerbaijan. From 1907-1923 J. Straume worked for the Caucasus Crafts Committee in Tiflis as a senior artist. He regularly held ethnographic expeditions all over the Caucasus, collecting sketches and photographs of the folk handicrafts especially those with the carpet ornaments. Notably, Julius Straume personally put into practice the idea of transferring technical sketches of the carpets to graph paper as a technical assignment for the carpet weavers working at home. His drawings and the sketches of traditional Azerbaijani carpets represent a valuable heritage that preserves a unique slice of the Azerbaijani carpet weaving history.

The exhibition will display the reproductions of author drawings by J. Straume where one can observe Caucasian and Oriental influences, art deco, and national romanticism motifs. Originals of the sketches, displayed at the exhibition, house at the Druviena Old School-Museum (Latvia), Gulbene Municipality Museum of History and Art (Latvia), Latvian National Museum of Art (Latvia), The Art Palace of Georgia – Museum of Cultural History (Georgia).

Contemporary textile works and porcelain artworks made based on sketches by J. Straume and J. Madernieks constitute a considerable part of the exposition. These are scarfs, towels, socks, and gloves created by the masters of Gulbene Folk Applied Art Studio “Sagša” (Latvia), as well as by its Director Biruta Akmentina; porcelain decorated by artist Inese Brants (Latvia), and carpets created by Karim Mirzaee, Professor of Tabriz Islamic Art University and his students.

Ruta Rinka, Curator of the Latvian Textile Art Collection of Museum of Decorative Arts and Design will deliver a lecture on Latvian textiles within the framework of the exhibition. The specialists of the Gulbene Art School and the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum will present the children's programs designed especially for this exhibition.

The exhibition runs until January 6, 2023.