After the agrarian reform of the Republic of Latvia in 1924, the Board of Monuments included the Rundāle Palace into the list of objects protected by the state. The restoration plans of the palace were begun in 1932, when it came under the authority of the Ministry of Education. In 1938, after the transfer of school premises to the western block, the halls of the palace and its central part came under the management of the Museum of National History. An exposition of sacred art in the palace was planned, and appropriate exhibits were collected. Subsequently, some of them came to the collection of the Rundāle Palace Museum and became the basis for one of the most important areas of the museum activity. The museum was still open to visitors during the Second World War. After the war the palace was turned into a grain collection point and the museum was not restored. In 1959, permission was granted to create a small exposition of the Bauska Museum of Regional Studies and Art in the palace.
In 1964 the Rundāle Palace became a branch of the Bauska Museum of Regional Studies and Art, and intensive research and creation of collections began. In 1972, an independent Rundāle Palace Museum was established; the restoration of the palace and the renovation of the interior began. The first director of the Rundāle Palace Museum until 1975 was Laimonis Liepa. Since 1975 the director of the museum is Imants Lancmanis.
The mission of the Rundāle Palace Museum is to educate the public on various issues of architecture, art, history of culture and gardening, creating the Rundāle Palace ensemble as an internationally important centre for arts, cultural history and gardens, maintaining the repository of ancient Latvian art history, creating permanent exposition of European decorative and sacred art.
- > restores and maintains the Rundāle Palace ensemble as a united 18th century architectural and monumental decorative art monument, improving and complementing the exposition of the interior with high-quality art works of the 18th century;
- > cultivates and maintains the largest historical garden with a rosary in the Baltics;
- > creates and maintains the exposition of the family vault of the dukes of Courland in Jelgava Palace;
- > complements the museum’s scientific archive on Latvian architectural and artistic monuments, materials on the architecture of the oldest time in the history of art in Latvia, fine arts and crafts, provides access to the archive for researchers;
- > ensures access to the permanent expositions and creation of exhibitions, as well as organization of educational events;
- > prepares informative and scientific publications;
- > provides advice and assistance in restoration and other issues for managers of other cultural monuments;
- > creates an informative database about the collection of the museum for the Joint Catalogue of the National Holdings of Museums;
- > develops and implements projects in accordance with the purpose of the museum activities;
- > participates in the implementation of international projects;
- > ensures publicity of museum events;
- > examines the public demand for museum services and analyses the quality of the service provided by the museum;
- > trains guides and organizes guide services.