The National History Museum of Latvia organizes an international scientific conference “Individual. History. Nation. The 120th Anniversary of the Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition“. The conference will be held in Rīga, Brīvības bulvāris 32, in the conference hall of the National History Museum of Latvia on October 25 and 26.
In 2016 the Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition commemorates its 120th anniversary. The exhibition was held in Rīga in 1896, in the framework of the 10th All-Russian Archaeological Congress. In the 19th century ethnography, which at that time included both history and physical anthropology, in Central and Eastern Europe became a peculiar way of expressing nation’s identity and uniqueness. Considering the traditional cultural heritage as the cornerstone of the national identity, the tangible and intangible heritage was gathered, preserved and investigated and it became an important component of the agenda of national movements. At the end of the 19th century a number of museums were founded in European countries and grand exhibitions were organised promoting the nations’ longstanding, richness, originality and splendour of culture. The abolishment of serfdom, increase of education level also brought to Latvians the realization of the value of Latvian history, culture, language; and also the understanding of need to identify, preserve, display and see the nation’s spiritual and material heritage. In 1896 the Latvian ethnographic exhibition became the largest event of representing Latvian nation, its history, culture and current achievements at the end of the 19th century. It is an important milestone in the history of Latvian ethnography and formation of Latvian museums and their expositions. To commemorate the anniversary of the Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition and to assess its contribution to the Latvian history research, the National History Museum of Latvia works on the exhibition “The Latvians: An Interpretation. Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition of 1896”, which will be opened on October 26 and organizes an international scientific conference “Individual. History. Nation. The 120th Anniversary of the Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition”.