Exhibition about Austras Ozoliņš-Krauzis at the Suta and Beļcova Museum – writer, patron, press – Cultural and entertainment events – Culture +

According to art scientist Natalija Jevsejeva, the exhibition is dedicated to the writer and journalist Ozolina-Krauze. She was born in Riga on November 30, 1890, in the family of a construction contractor, so she could afford to study abroad. From 1912 to 1917, she studied philology and law at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

The art historian said that already then Ozolina-Krauze started her active socio-political and journalistic activity. Right there in Switzerland, she met Rainis and Aspazija, and worked with them in the Swiss Latvian Committee as its secretary.

From 1916 to 1919, Ozoliņa-Krauze headed the Latvian Propaganda Bureau and already then came to the attention of the intelligence services – her progress was followed by the Swiss special services. Jevsejeva pointed out that Ozolina-Krauze’s anti-German propaganda was so impressive that it was mentioned in the reports by the German Embassy in Bern.

In 1921, Ozoliņa-Krauze returned to Riga. There she met Aleksandrs Beļcovs, who recently arrived in Latvia, and for the next ten years she became a close friend and financial supporter of the artist.

Aleksandra Beļcova and Austra Ozoliņa-Krauze

PHOTO: Collection of Roman Suta and Aleksandra Beļcova Museum

From 1922 to 1924, Ozoliņa-Krauze sponsored the publication of the politically satirical magazine Ho-Ho. The columns and articles were published by the most prominent writers and poets of the time, while the artists – mostly members of the Riga group, including Beļcova and Suta – received royalties for cartoons and cartoons.

In 1924, Ozoliņa-Krauze financially supported the porcelain painting workshop “Baltars”. It was in her house on Lāčplēša Street that there was a workshop and a salon where artists sold their products. They all also lived there: Ozolina-Krauze and “Baltara” members Beļcova with Sutu, Sigismunds Vidbergs with his family.

Thanks to the help of his girlfriend, Belcova managed to go to one of the best tuberculosis clinics in southern France in the second half of the 1920s. The art historian pointed out that it was not only Belcova who was given creative inspiration by the French Riviera and was reflected in many paintings and drawings. Ozolina-Krauze’s novel “In the Door of a Whirlpool” was written in a rented villa in Vans, which describes the life of Russian emigrants in France. In France, she also worked on the play “Katrīna” about Napoleon’s wife Maria Valevska.

In 1929, Ozoliņa-Krauze was officially declared bankrupt. This could be due to her passion for gambling. It is possible that due to financial difficulties, the woman was recruited to at least two intelligence services in the 1930s, the art historian emphasized.

The exhibition features portraits of Ozoliņa-Krauze, her documents, photographs and manuscripts from the collection and private collections of the Museum of Literature and Music, the Museum of Romans Suta and Aleksandras Beļcova, the Latvian National Museum of Art.

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