The Visual Art (VA) collection at the Museum of Literature and Music’s Depository of Literature, Theatre and Music Collections is composed of different collections from the museum’s main branches – collections related to people involved in Latvian literature, theatre or music; collections related to organisations; and themed collections, as well as 314 interdisciplinary collections of visual arts, amounting to a total of 39,407 holdings. The visual arts collections include collections relating to graphic arts; painting; sculpture; stage design; applied arts; reproduction of artworks, as well as other artefacts held by the museum (such as documents, correspondence and manuscripts, among others). The artworks reflect the sub-branches of the core branches; people involved in culture, their characters and life, and their social and creative activity related to these sub-branches. The artworks also reflect personal archives that give an insight into personal development, collaboration and the creation of significant artwork, as well as the creative work of artists. And last but not least, these artworks document cultural history.
The majority of the VA collection is composed of artwork related to the branch of theatre – namely, stage design (sketches of costumes and decorations for stage plays, operas, ballets and operettas). Collections related to: Sergejs Antonovs; Zigrīda Atāle; Ilmārs Blumbergs; Andris Freibergs; Artūrs Cimmermanis; Evalds Dajevskis; Jurijs Feoktistovs; Laimdonis Grasmanis; Biruta Goģe; Jānis Kuga; Arturs Lapiņš; Ludolfs Liberts; Herberts Līkums; Leonīds Merkmanis; Oskars Muižnieks; Jānis Muncis; Baiba Puzina; Marga Spertāle; Arvīds Spertāls; Artūrs Upelnieks; Vilhelms-Alfreds Vasariņš; Edgars Vārdaunis; Arnolds Vilkins; Ģirts Vilks; Ardis-Eduards Vinklers; Eduards Smiļģis; and the Dailes Theatre, among others. The collection related to the Russian director-artist Sergei Eisenstein, who had a connection to Latvia, deserves a special mention. It includes sketches regarding the plots of motion pictures and charge caricatures. The collections related to Arnolds Burovs and Pāvils Šenhofs, as well as the one connected with the Puppet Theatre in Rīga, all include sketches of puppets. For its part, the collection related to Dzintra Aulmane includes sketches of animations. While notes on particular roles and characters in motion pictures can be found in the cinema collection. The collection also includes portraits of people connected with the theatre and the collections, arranged in alphabetical order.
The second largest group of artworks includes artwork connected to literature – illustrations, portraits, and landscapes from collections related to a wide range of writers and poets, presented in alphabetical order. This group also includes collections related to writer-artists, including Jānis Jaunsudrabiņš and Jānis Sarma, among others, as well as collections related to illustrators: Ilona Ceipe, Sigurds Kalniņš, Margarita Kovaļevska, Alberts Kronenbergs, Jāzeps Pīgoznis, Margarita Stāraste, Sigismunds Vidbergs and Indriķis Zeberiņš, among others.
The third largest group of artworks includes art related to the music industry. Of all the many collections, one that deserves a special mention is the collection related to the musician and artist Valērijs Zosts, which includes many charge caricatures of people involved with Latvian culture.
The biggest collection of visual art is the collection of caricatures from the magazine Dadzis, and the second-largest collection is related to the magazine Mazputniņš.
The collection of VA also includes artwork related to the operations of the former departments of the museum (which are currently the Association of Memorial Museums). These include artworks by the artist Janis Rozentāls, held at the J. Rozentāls and R. Blaumanis Museum; a collection of artwork related to Rainis and Aspazija, held at Rainis and Aspazija’s house in Rīga and their summer cottage in Majori (Jūrmala); a collection of artwork related to the writer Jānis Akuraters, held at the Jānis Akuraters Museum, as well as a collection of Latgalian ceramics, held at the Rainis Museum at Jasmuiža.
In addition to paintings and graphic art, the VA collection holds sculptural artworks from a variety of collections – busts, medals, mouldings and figurines created by many well-known sculptors – Lea Davidova-Medene, Burkards Dzenis, Emīls Melderis, Eduards Sidrabs, Jānis Strupulis, Gustavs Šķilters, Elza Švalbe-Matvejeva, Valentīna Zeile, Kārlis Zemdega and Lūcija Žurgina, among others. The collection of posthumous masks, featuring the faces and hands of approximately 80 different people involved in culture, is noteworthy.
Curator of the collection of artwork Gunta Terēzija