Collection commissioned by Pauls Stradiņš

A poor painting is better than a good photograph — this was the criterion Pauls Stradiņš (1896–1958) set for graphic materials commissioned for the museum. This collection includes the portraits of prominent doctors, representations of medical technologies and procedures, as well as other artworks in a variety of techniques. The initial core of the collection was composed of the works of Stradiņš’ patient and family friend Jānis Tillbergs (1880–1972) and those of Tillbergs’ students. Their portraits of famous medical workers and researchers throughout the ages were made primarily based on black-and-white reproductions and press photography. For the depiction of medical scenes, the artists relied on illustrations and written historical descriptions. During the Soviet period, the Museum commenced its annual tradition of preparing a “Medicine in Art” exhibit, augmenting its collection with new paintings, sculptures, bookplates, caricatures and other works.