ARTISTS' SOCIETIES IN LATVIA (1934-1940). LATEST RESEARCHES OF MATERIALS FOUND IN THE LATVIAN STATE HISTORY ARCHIVE (Makslinieku biedribas Latvija (1934-1940))
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Establishment of an authoritarian regime in Latvia was neither a surprise nor exception in the European context. After World War I democracy had power and high reputation in all European countries. But the practice showed that democratic form of government was too ineffective to deal with the acute problems of the post-war period. Economical and social issues were not resolved and governments - too weak. Economical decline of the 1930s enhanced the sense of disappointment in democracy. Movements campaigning for authoritarian government emerged in almost all European countries. In Latvia there was no experience of political democracy at all and this burdened the success of this system. After Prime Minister Karlis Ulmanis realised a coup d'etat on 15 May 1934 and abolished the constitution, the state was reformed to create a completely new system, founding trade chambers. There were six chambers in total. In May 1938 the last two chambers were established - the Latvian Chamber of Writing and Art (Rakstu un makslas kamera) and the Chamber of Professions (Profesiju kamera). They completed the process of involving each inhabitant of Latvia in the sphere of competence represented by the chambers. The Latvian Chamber of Writing and Art was opened in the Riga Latvian Society hall on 15 December 1938. According to the law, the Chamber of Writing and Art consisted of six sections representing literature, publishers and dealers, fine art, music, theatre and folklore. Groups (former artists' societies) could exist as sections. The Section of Fine Art received 19 posts. Founding of the chambers was carried out together with closing down of the former societies. On 14 November 1938 a meeting was organised at the Independent Artists' Society (Neatkarigo makslinieku vieniba) building and residence, bringing together boards of former artists' societies to decide about consolidation and passing regulations of the new society.
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