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Aldis Plaudis

We’re a big family, and I hope that one of my descendents will “catch” the thrill of collecting. I like to change the paintings on the easels arranged in the hall, switching between classics and representatives of contemporary modern art. It’s interesting for me to observe whether the exhibited work generates an interest among my family members, or leaves them indifferent. If they are interested, then this leads to a discussion about the artist’s work. 

Almost a hundred works are set up in our family home in Mālpils, a manor house built by Wilhelm Ludvig Bockslaff. The interior of this cultural and historical landmark of national significance simply couldn’t do without paintings. In honor of the 150th anniversary of Bockslaff, the home’s remarkable Baltic German architect, Gļebs Panteļejevs created a monument to Bockslaff; we set it up in the manor’s park, which we own. I also consider this work, by a remarkable contemporary sculptor, to be a part of our collection, just like O. Mikāns’s bronze-cast sculpture Divi (Two), which won an award in Japan and now decorates the yard of our summer home.

You mentioned that you hope your children will inherit your thrill for art collecting. Do you see this interest in them today?

If my son were to collect something, it would definitely be sports cars. Yet I have five more children… (Laughs.) My three daughters are already married and live their own independent lives; they took with them several works from the family collection. These are mostly works by contemporary artists, like Ģirts Muižnieks, Helēna Heinrihsone, Vija Zariņa, Normunds Brasliņš, Oļegs Dzjubenko, and others. I couldn’t say that my children have bad taste. I’ve never had a problem finding good companions for exhibits and auctions… I think they’ve received an interest and education in art from their parents.

Does your collection also participate in national-level exhibits?

I consider it an honor if works from our collection are appreciated at that level by professionals. This collaboration takes place almost every time there is an exhibit of works by the Old Masters. At the Jānis Tīdemanis anniversary exhibit, my collection’s work Carnival Night in Paris was exhibited next to three other carnivals, owned by the museum. Mine was definitely not the worst. And in the last exhibit devoted to J. Valters, I had the honor of participating with works from my collection. This year there will be two exhibits—an exhibit dedicated to Kārlis Padegs’s hundredth anniversary and a Oskars Norītis exhibit—where paintings from our family’s collection may be exhibited.