In 1963 a branch of the Bauska Museum of Regional Studies and Art was attached to Rundāle Palace. An independent Rundāle Palace Museum was established in 1972. Its main objective is to restore the palace complex, arrange the interiors with furniture and works of art, investigate Latvian art from earlier periods and assemble respective collections of artworks.
The restoration of the Palace will soon be completed, but the Museum will continue to renovate the garden and forest park, and restore auxiliary buildings.
The Museum is also working on two permanent exhibitions. In the western wing of the Palace the European Decorative Art Exhibition will be arranged, whereas the former stables will house a renewed exhibition of Latvian art from earlier periods featuring items from different churches of Latvia.
Activities aimed at achieving the main goals of the Museum are carried out by several departments: the Palace Complex Department, Latvian Art Department, Park Department and Restoration Department which consists of eleven restorers.
Research topics covered by the Museum’s staff include the formation of historical gardens as this information is vital for the renovation of the Baroque garden and for the selection of appropriate plants. Within the frames of the programme aimed at attracting visitors the Museum’s staff has also begun investigating topics related to the history of civilization such as a mode of life and festivities in the 18th century palaces.
In the near future the Museum will publish several new books including exhibition catalogues of its earlier exhibitions such as “Friedrich Hartmann Barisien and His Epoch”, “Courland in Europe. Duke Peter and the Legends of Courland”, “The 19th Century Portrait in Latvia” and “Heraldry in Latvia”. The patronage programme will provide a possibility of publishing “The History and Restoration of Rundāle Palace” in two volumes. The Museum is also working on a new guidebook of Rundāle Palace and a book about the ducal palaces in Svēte, Vircava, Luste and Zaļenieki.