Jūlijs Straume: Caucasus on my mind; exhibition at Tbilisi State Museum of Folk and Applied Arts of Georgia

Updated: 11 February, 2023 seen 1,424

Jūlijs Straume, was a renowned Latvian artist who left a lasting impact on the art world. Despite his passing, his legacy lives on through the active efforts of the Latvian Diaspora in Georgia, who continue to honor his works.

Jūlijs Straume (July 2, 1874 - November 1, 1970) was a Latvian textile artist, educator, and ethnographer, and an Honored Art Worker of the Latvian SSR. He studied in Jelgava and St. Petersburg and later refined his skills in Paris (1905-1907).

From 1907 to 1923, he lived in Georgia, where he collected and studied the folk decorative and applied arts of the Caucasus. During this time, he compiled a rich collection of folk weavings, or carpets, which he later published in the album "Caucasian Carpets" (Volume 1, 1913). Straume created sketches of carpets using typical Latvian applied arts folklore and ethnographic motifs, applying the principle of oriental composition.

After his time in Georgia, he returned to Latvia and continued to work as an artist and educator. Straume died on November 1, 1970, in Riga, Latvia.

Recently, I had the privilege of attending an exhibition at the State Museum of Folk and Applied Arts of Georgia, where I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the artistry and talent of Jūlijs Straume. It was a truly memorable experience and a testament to the enduring power and appeal of his works.

State Museum of Folk and Applied Arts of Georgia

Book published by Jūlijs Straume

Book published by Jūlijs Straume

Though Jūlijs Straume is known for his work of research on Caucasus carpet patterns, he just logical was a traveler also, and he documented many remote places in Georgia and Caucasus, a lot of photographies were found in this book.

Photographies by Jūlijs Straume

Photographies by Jūlijs Straume (start of 20th century)

Jūlijs Straume Library

Jūlijs Straume Library

There is even a Library named after a famous Latvian

Carpet patterns

Carpet patterns

Here is a thing - Jūlijs did photograph carpet patterns, but back then there were no color photos, so he hand-colored his B&W photographies

Straume Library sign

Straume Library sign

Some technical information

Some technical information

Carpet

Carpet

Carpet

Carpet

Those of you familiar with Lithuanian Vytas will find some similarities, on the other hand, it might be Saint Michael...

More carpet patterns

More carpet patterns

The Georgian State Museum of Folk and Applied Art houses collections of XIX-XX c.c. craft works from Georgia and other Caucasian nations. The museum features displays of gold and silver items, adornments, belts, weapons, household objects, and collections of Caucasian rugs and carpets, silk, leather, heavy cloth, felt objects, Khevsiretian clothes, embroidery samples, tapestry, local musical instruments, and folk craft objects. The museum also stores works by Jūlijs Straume, including a rich collection of drawings based on the Caucasian ethnographic material, such as ornament patterns and sketches.

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Hi! My name is Reinis Fischer (38). Dad, husband, options traderdividend income investorcrypto hedge fund manager, drone enthusiast, world traveler, photographer, and passionate lover of Georgian cuisine (vegetarian). 

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