Exhibition of Henry Clemens Van de VeldeOn 3 April 2013 the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Clemens Van de Velde was celebrated. In 1910, when he was 47, he was invited to enter an architectural competition for the creation of a St. Peter’s Church parsonage and inclusive housing in Riga. At that time Van de Velde, who was then working at the school in Weimar that later became the renowned Bauhaus School of Architecture, was experiencing a swing in his approach of architecture. The Riga project would have remained a minor occurrence, if it had not popped up twice in the myth surrounding Van de Velde. It is these two instances that have inspired this exhibition.
The first time the Riga project appears is in a most famous photo showing the master at work in his Weimar studio while he is designing the plans of the parsonage.
The second reference can be found in his Geschichte meines Lebens where he describes his trips to Riga as a typical example of an experience of cultural confrontation which has not yet lost its topical interest. The photos by Alnis Stakle on view in this exhibition try to illustrate this controversial story of ‘honest’ beauty which Van de Velde appealed to.