The roofs of the main building and wings of Kadriorg palace, which has been closed since July 2012, were replaced; the ventilation and air conditioning systems, which are vital for the preservation of old art, were supplemented and updated; and the windows were sealed. The cost of the renovations was approximately € 475,000, which was financed from CO2 quota funds, and the work was organised by State Real Estate Ltd. The interior architect Mari Kurismaa’s solution has provided a facelift to the museum shop, coat check and the rooms where, starting in February, the educational programmes of the popular Palace School will be conducted.
“The requirements and expectations facing the museum are constantly changing. When organising international exhibitions, the museum’s climate systems and security are important. As visitors, we need many things in addition to good expositions: a spacious entry, convenient coat check, presentable restrooms, educational programmes that support the museum experience, a cosy café and a unique museum shop,” said Kadi Polli, the Director of the Kadriorg Art Museum. “In preserving the historical interior of the Kadriorg Palace, yet also making it more functional in the contemporary sense, we have moved toward solutions that correspond to the expectations of today’s visitors. We hope that the public will approve of the rearrangements.”
During the renovation of the Kadriorg Art Museum, great emphasis was placed on the modernisation of the educational centre, which has been accomplished largely thanks to good cooperation partners and supporters. “A high-quality education centre is an essential part of a modern museum since, in addition to the exhibition experience, it helps visitors to achieve a more direct and personal contact with art,” said Kadi Polli.
For younger art lovers, modern costumes that also pay tribute to the uniqueness of the Kadriorg Palace have been designed by the fashion designers Marit Ilison, Britt Samoson, Hanna Korsar, Triinu Pungits and Liina Stein, for the “palace ladies”, who conduct the educational programmes. The result is five different outfits that highlight historical aesthetics, while maintaining a modern look,” said Riti Kallas, the manager of the costume project.
The Kadriorg Art Museum wishes to thank all the companies that have supported the restoration of the museum’s educational centre: AS Merko Ehitus, Kar-Grupp AS, Akzo Nobel Baltics AS, AS KH Energia-Konsult, Moodne Valgustus AS, AS Arens Mööbel and Monton.
Estonia’s most important collection of foreign art – Western European and Russian paintings, sculpture and applied arts from the 16th to 20th centuries – is housed in the Baroque palace. Thus, it is one of Estonia’s most outstanding and beloved museums, for both its content and activities. The museum offers an outstanding permanent exhibition, international exhibitions of old art and a full schedule of tours, as well as educational and public programmes.
The museum’s opening exhibition is Repin. A Russian Master’s Life and Work in Finland, which was organised through the collaborative efforts of the Ateneum Museum in Helsinki and the Kadriorg Art Museum.
The Kadriorg Art Museum was closed for renovations between 1 July 2012 and 8 February 2013.