Leonid Arins (1907-1991)
A solitary personality in Latvian art, lived and worked in Tukums. Though born in Riga, he spent his childhood in Lubana. it is noteworthy that already at Rupsala primary school in 1920, he arranged his first exhibition of drawings and water-colours and in 1922 one of his drawings was published in the then popular youth magazina "Jaunibas Tekas".
In the secondary school (in Tukums) he made friends with Karlis Neilis and Ansis Artums, who shared his interests. They were painting, arranging joint exhibition and mapping out their further paths in art.
From 1925 to 1942 Arins intermittently studied at the Latvia Academy of Arts. The academic study program did not appeal to him and he strived to find his own way in art. He spent a lot of time in exhibitions, libraries and artist's studios. He visited Voldemars Tone, Romans Suta, Niklavs Strunke, Theodor Zalkalns, took interest in Voldemars Matvejs and Jekabs Kazaks activities. Of the world masters he was attracted to Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse. the impressions gained enriched his understanding of art and world and helped shape the future route in his own career where imagination and phantasy prevailed. He worked hard to perfect drawing, observed nature and grew more laconic in expression, tended to create his own symbols and vision of the world. The confines of one particularschool seemed to be too narrow for Leonids Arins, he was open to creative influences and had nothing against borrowings. In his creations one can trace the impact of French painting, with colours predominating as in Fauvism, his works bear features reminiscent of portraits painted by Matisse, Bonnard, Mazerell and Fajuma, there are resemblances to Lithuaninan painting.
Arins important contribution to Latvia's cultural life is the Museum of Art un Tukums, which was conceived and created by him.
1929 – 1936 Intermittenly studied at the Latvia Academy of Arts, Riga, Latvia
1929. - started collecting art works and in 1935 took up organization and formation of Tukums Art Museum, that was opened in 1936, Latvia
1938/53 - the director of Tukums Art Museum, Latvia
1945 - member of the Artists Union of the Latvia
1977. Honorary prize of the Latvian SSR Artists Union
1977. Honorary prize of the Latvian SSR Ministry of Culture
1987. Honourary prize of the Latvian SSR Supreme Council, Latvia
Source: catalogue "Leonīds Āriņš", Tukums: Tukum's museum, 1994.