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Summary

This article is dedicated to the “Baltars” collective porcelain painting workshop (1924–1930), founded in Riga, Latvia by three modernist artists: painters Romans Suta (1896–1944) and Aleksandra Beļcova (1892–1981) and graphic artist Sigismunds Vidbergs (1890–1970).The “Baltars” phenomenon is significant because of the innovations that the artists brought to the landscape of Latvian porcelain manufacturing and its exhibition activities in the 1920s and the early 1930s, both local and in the Baltic Sea region—Lithuania, Estonia, and Sweden. The article investigates “Baltars” foundation and closure, artistic activities of the company, its attempts to enter the international art and trade scene, and its accomplishments. Special attention is paid to the amalgamation of modernisation, nationalism, and state-building manifested in their paintings on porcelain. Due to the present growing interest in porcelain art in Latvia, triggered by numerous exhibitions and publications, discourse on the “Baltars” phenomenon has become topical.