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Zuzeum was founded in 2017 by collectors and art patrons Dina and Jānis Zuzāns.

The collectors own the biggest private collection of Latvian art in the world.






Encompassing over 5000 pieces, the collection includes Latvian painting, graphic art, sculpture, applied art, photography, and video, from the late 19th century to today. The collection also includes works by foreign artists, especially Russian nonconformists and Sots artists.

The core of Zuzeum will consist of the Zuzāns Collection and the collection’s current home, the Mūkusala Art Salon — in a new guise and under a different name. Zuzeum will offer permanent art exhibitions, temporary exhibitions, talks and concerts, theatre performances and films, events in the sculpture garden, as well as art programmes for children and young adults.

Zuzeum’s mission is to promote Latvian art among the broadest local and international public, to facilitate exhibitions of foreign artists in Riga, to become an art institution of international importance, and to put Riga on the map of European art events.

The reconstruction of the historic building that houses Zuzeum is entrusted to internationally recognised architect Zaiga Gaile. Her approach to reconstruction is characterised by a strong desire and ability to preserve the specific, distinctive image of a historic building or ensemble while adapting it for a contemporary function.

The current form of the collection is the result of the collectors’ aspiration to assemble an exemplary portrait of local art.

The family regularly supports art processes in Latvia, the representation of local art abroad, and art publishing.

In 2008, in collaboration with the Latvian National Museum of Art, Jānis Zuzāns founded the Purvītis Prize — now the most prestigious award in Latvian art.

Since 2015, Jānis Zuzāns has been a member of the Russian and Eastern Europe Acquisitions Committee at Tate Modern.

  • Zuzeum will host :
  • art exhibitions
  • talks
  • concerts
  • theatre performances and films
  • events in the sculpture garden
  • activities for children and young adults

The reconstruction project remains in progress, but Zuzeum is already happening — the historic building hosts various art and cultural events. The Zuzāns Collection also continues to grow.

How it all began

Late 1990s

Indulis Zariņš’s painting Artist’s Studio (Nude) becomes the starting point of the Zuzāns Collection.

January 2008

January 2008

In collaboration with the Latvian National Museum of Art, Jānis Zuzāns founds the Purvītis Prize — now the most prestigious award in Latvian art.

August 2010

August 2010

The Zuzāns Collection finds its first permanent home at 42 Mūkusalas Street – the Mūkusala Art Salon.

A private institution does not have to represent the entire course of Latvian art history. This allows the salon’s curators to be subjective while furthering the scientific study of the collection.

Works in the Zuzāns Collection are ever more frequently loaned to museums in Riga and other regions in Latvia.

August 2010

August 2010

Art and culture portal Arterritory.com is launched. Dina and Jānis Zuzāns are among its owners and major supporters.

The portal regularly publishes the magazine Arterritory Conversations with Collectors in Latvian and English, featuring conversations about art with the world’s leading art collectors.

August 2016

August 2016

The Zuzāns family acquires the historic Cork Factory with the aim of establishing a private art centre of international importance.

Zaigas Gailes Birojs is entrusted with the reconstruction of the building that will become Zuzeum.

The core of Zuzeum will be the Zuzāns Collection and the collection's current home, the Mūkusala Art Salon — in a new guise and under a different name.

July 2017

July 2017

The biggest Zuzāns Collection exhibition to date, TOP in formation, opens at the Latvian National Museum of Art. The model of the forthcoming Zuzeum is put on display for the first time.

October 2017

October 2017

Zuzeum is already happening. Its first exhibition opens in the historic building – Dreams and Dramas, an exhibition of contemporary art from Israel.

March 2018

March 2018

Following the expansion of the Zuzeum garden towards Satekles Street, the ensemble becomes a finished whole at the intersection of two thoroughfares.

April 2018

April 2018

Youth programme Zuzeum 101 is launched.

The first edition of the programme, titled How to Write a Painting, takes place in collaboration with the editors of the bilingual bookazine Benji Knewman.

During the course, young adults get to know the Zuzāns Collection, visit current exhibitions and evaluate their content and appearance, meet curators and exhibition designers, and together with the editors of Benji Knewman, try their hand at making their own printed magazine.

June 2018

June 2018

Zuzeum becomes one of the venues of the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art.

The inaugural biennial runs from 2 June to 28 October and features the works of more than 100 artists from Latvia and abroad.

Zuzeum : The Ear

Zuzeum : The Ear

Whilst Zuzeum building is getting ready for transformations, Zuzeum : The Ear is already happening. 

Zuzeum : The Ear is a curated shop-movie place with a rooftop terrace. It is also the meeting point for the youth program Zuzeum 101.

In collaboration with bookazine Benji Knewman and film project Spektrs, the space hosts film nights and other activities for the broader public, which will grow in regularity and scale after Zuzeum’s reconstruction is completed. 

Late 1990s
January 2008
August 2010
August 2010
August 2016
July 2017
October 2017
March 2018
April 2018
June 2018
Zuzeum : The Ear