In short about Latvian Roerich Society


The Latvian Roerich Society is the first and oldest society established by the Roerichs in several countries around the world.

The basis was established in 1920 by Rigan Vladimir Schibayev, who, while being in London, met the great philosopher and artist Nicholas Roerich and his wife Helena Roerich.

In Riga, after talks with Roerich, V.Schibayev created a group of people to study philosophy, eastern and theosophical literature. An active correspondence developed between Roerichs and Schibayev. The Roerichs themselves were members of the group and also paid the membership fee.

In 1928, following a request from N.Roerich, Schibayev went to India, to become his secretary. From now on the place of Schibayev as the leader of the group in Riga was taken by doctor-homeopath Feliks Lukins who in fact already guided the group.


The Roerichs family in Naggar, Kulu (c.a. 1932-33).


On October 13th 1930, after a personal meeting with the Roerichs in Paris, F.Lukins officially founded the Latvian Roerich Society.

Publishing was started on a larger scale and the base for a Nicholas and Svetoslav Roerich paintings museum was made. One of the main goals of the Society was to pass the Roerich Peace Pact in order to protect the cultural heritage, especially because there were already signs of a close new world war. Lukins was assisted by Rihards Rudzitis, who, like no other, understood his desires.

Following the death of F.Lukins in 1934 R.Rudzitis became the president of the Latvian Roerich Society (officially from 1936) after advice from H.Roerich, he was also the main publisher of the Society.

During the lead of Rudzitis, the Societies publishing works became even broader and had a much better quality. Works by the Roerichs, The Living Ethics, H.Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine and works by Rudzitis himself were published. The official Museum of paintings by Nicholas and Svetoslav Roerich was opened in 1937; also the first conference of Baltic Roerich Societies took place.

In 1940 after the soviets gained control and ordered on the 5th august to eliminate all societies in Latvia, among them was The Latvian Roerich Society. Members continued to meet until arrests from 1948-1951.

Following rehabilitation in 1954/1951 members continued to meet in smaller groups, books were copied by hand, many were printed illegally.

The Latvian Roerich Society was officially renewed in 1988. Talks about the renewing started already in autumn 1987 between ex-members of Latvian Roerich Society and from Estonian and Lithuanian Societies. The founding conference was held October 6th 1988 on Kr.Barona street 12 in the rooms of the Writers Society, which was the first bureau of the Society.

An official gathering with foreign guests and a choir concert was held in the „Ave Sol” hall (ex Petera-Pavila church). From the old members Haralds Lukins carried the Roerich Peace Flag on the stage which had been preserved in the Museum of History and Navigation in Riga. The Society’s new president Gunta Rudzite (1933) held a speech; already after the sudden death of her father Rihards Rudzitis in 1960 she unofficially had to lead the Society, held contacts with many people of the republics in the USSR who were interested in the ideas of the Roerichs.

The work of the Society started with many lectures. Various institutions and institutes were interested. Hundreds of letters from ex-soviet territories were received.

The Society managed to regain a part of its rooms on Elizabetes street 21A-7 (which had become appartment number 15). The publishing house „Uguns” was reopened and printed dozens of books in high quality. Due to rising rental costs by the owners the Society had to leave its rooms. Also the publishing house „Uguns” slowly ceased its operations.

With kind permission of the director of the National Latvian Museum of Art, members of the Society met at the exhibition hall for the Roerich paintings. Rooms were rented, also meetings in private apartments were held.

On December 7th 2005 the Latvian Roerich Society received a social beneficial status (following the ordinance No 588 of the Ministry of Finance starting 13.12.2005).

Publishing works were continued working together with organization ”Zvezdi Gor” (“Mountain Stars”), a publishing house from Minsk, publishing works by the Roerichs and R.Rudzitis in Russian language. Works of R.Rudzitis are now being printed also in Latvian (original language).

Since March 2009 the lead of the Society and its new publishing house „Sirds Gaisma” (“Light of Heart”) was given to its new president Alvils Hartmanis (1979) after the voting in an official conference of the members. Honorary president Gunta Rudzite continues to work in the board of the Society, publishing and writing.


Vladimir Schibayev


Feliks Lukins


Rihards Rudzitis