The Rothko Museum collection is one of its greatest assets, comprising over three thousand units in different mediums. Structured in eight subsidiary collections, it contains artworks by Latvian and international artists and keeps world-class art available to the region’s residents and visitors, tracing outstanding contemporary developments and celebrating the timeless excellence of old masters.

The collection dates back to 2003 and the centenary of Mark Rothko, the world-renowned native of Dvinsk (now Daugavpils) and founder of abstract expressionism. On this landmark occasion, the artist’s family donated to their father’s hometown a retrospective selection of his oeuvre comprised of forty museum-quality reproductions. In 2005, Daugavpils hosted the first international Mark Rothko Plein Air, which became a tradition and the cornerstone for sustained collection development over time.

The Rothko Museum (before 2023 – the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre) maintains a vibrant international symposium and residency programme, which attracts contemporary artists from Latvia and beyond and stimulates their creativity. Every year, the museum receives donations from symposium participants. These acquisitions push the collection’s geographical boundaries and reflect the diversity of contemporary developments in visual arts. Individual donations by artists partnering with the Rothko Museum for their solo shows are another means of collection development and a strong success marker for the institution’s lively exhibition record.

At the end of 2018, the Rothko Museum entered into an agreement with the artist and philanthropist Basil Alkazzi (UK), which stipulated the establishment of the Basil Alkazzi Acquisitions Fund, enabling the museum to acquire valuable paintings and prints by domestic and international artists.

The museum’s collection work has a strong historical significance, as it aims to preserve memorial values and support intergenerational succession in visual arts. Thus, the Rothko Museum has committed to building and maintaining memorial collections of three illustrious natives of Daugavpils – Pēteris Martinsons, Sigurds Vīdzirkste and Silva Linarte. With this goal in mind, the museum continues to invest time and resources in retaining these artists’ creative legacies and celebrating their historical influence.

Taken together, the Rothko Museum collection contains artworks by more than six hundred Latvian and international artists in painting, graphics, ceramics, sculpture, textile, photography and electronic art. The collection’s impressive scope and diversity enable museum specialists to produce customised exhibition projects with distinct conceptual frameworks for cultural venues in Latvia and beyond.