“Black-and-white city in the winter of 20’s and 30’s, pavement, signboards of shops, church towers,
lanterns, first snow, snow covers everything, frozen river, skiers, fir-tree, which is covered with snow, the
dark melting snow, Purvītis, flooded forest, water moves, raftsman, high school students, dreamy young
girls in ornaments of flowers, young girls with sad look, buns, long dresses with buttons, midlife Venus in
the fur coat, pastor, funeral with small orange trees, black dog, black dog sings, melancholic verses of
poetry, spicy folk songs, incantation, devils, estate managers, tour in two-wheeled carriage, becoming
invisible, incidents in in haystacks, recipes, which absolves from craziness, toothache and unknown
defects… That and many other things I experienced, investigating personal archive of photographer and
drawing teacher Juris Vītols (1869-1944), which is one of the treasure of the Valmiera Museum.
In this archive are about 400 different objects, the biggest part are glass negatives of J. Vītols taken photos,
as well as some very interesting exercise-books. Getting acquainted with his images and other materials,
turns out endlessly talented and unusual person with sensitive soul, who has followed to contemporary
processes and who has sometimes been able to watch them over.
Person with good sense of humor and of course with own secrets. With all his heart J. Vītols loved winter,
as well as his wife Marija and his foster-daughter Klāra. Maybe that is why his accomplishment seems
interesting even today. I want to share with visitors of this exhibition with my travel notes in the world of
Valmiera Museum collection, hoping that each of them will create own outlook about sense of the world,
place and time, in which photograph and teacher Juris Vītols lived and worked.
I spent a lot of time talking with staff members of Valmiera Museum collection, as well as making contact-
copies of photo negatives in the laboratory at the red light and studying notes of peculiar folk oral creation,
which J. Vītols has collected. Gradually my archive travel of Vītols got a form of an exhibition. I hope that
for each visitor it will create own outlook about sense of the world and time of this person.”
The exhibition supported by the Valmiera City Municipality and the State Culture Capital Foundation.
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