Estonian art scene — what's buzzing right now

Source: Tõnu Tunnel, Visit Estonia

Estonian art scene — what's buzzing right now

Estonia has a sizeable and savvy arts community active both locally and internationally. Kumu is inarguably the best-known art museum and gallery in Estonia. The museum is one of the largest art museums in Northern Europe and one of the five branches of the Art Museum of Estonia, housing its main offices. We have compiled a list of museums and temporary exhibitions going on right now to help you navigate the local art scene.

Kumu Art Museum

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

Kumu is the main building of the Art Museum of Estonia and the largest and most representative exhibition place in Estonia. In 2008, Kumu won the title of European Museum of the Year. This is a significant international recognition of Kumu’s ambition to be a truly contemporary art museum and a space for active spiritual activity, from educational programmes for young children to discussions on the nature and meaning of art in the modern world. Kumu’s permanent exhibition introduces Estonian art from the beginning of the 18 th century until 1991, and the changing exhibitions also include international and contemporary art. Good to know: Kumu calendar

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Tartu Art Museum

Tartu maakond, Tartu linn

Tartu Art Museum is the largest art museum in South Estonia that was established in 1940 to collect, store and display modern art. The museum still fulfils this function today. In the Leaning House at Raekoja plats 18 (Town Hall Square), you can visit exhibitions of Estonian and foreign art and participate in workshops, excursions, and seminars. Art collections and specialist library are located at Vallikraavi 14. On the ground floor of the exhibition building, there is a museum shop that sells various treatises by artists and art and humanitarian scientists, art catalogues, and art periodicals. In addition, the shop offers various souvenirs with reproductions of classical pieces of Estonian art.

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Estonian Applied Art and Design Museum

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

The museum, which is located in a medieval Old Town storehouse, displays the works of Estonian jewellery, textile, metal, glass and ceramic artists and designers from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. About 15,000 museum items form one of the most valuable and comprehensive collections of Estonian professional applied art and design; in addition, we have a collection of photos, negatives and slides, a specialist library and an archive. Enjoy the permanent exhibition of the history of Estonian applied art; more recent ideas are displayed in exhibitions organized on the ground floor and the gallery of the museum. We offer guided tours and educational programmes, organize events and workshops.

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Mikkel Museum

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

Mikkel Museum is located in the former kitchen building of Kadriorg Palace, next to Kadriorg Castle. In 1994, Johannes Mikkel donated his collection, which can be considered one of the richest private collections in Estonia, to the Art Museum of Estonia. His own paintings, graphics, sculptures, and, above all, porcelain are an important addition to the Kadriorg Art Museum collection. The only state museum in Estonia that is dedicated to a private collection also introduces other collectors and private art collections. The exhibits on the ground floor of the museum exhibit both contemporary and historical collections.

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Niguliste Museum and Church. Bernt Notke's 'Dance of Death'

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

Museum located in St. Nicholas' Church (Niguliste) that was built in the 13th century is one of the few museums located in a sacral building. Enjoy ecclesiastical art in its historical context! Here, you will find medieval gravestones, unique altars and Tallinn’s most famous work of art – a fragment of Bernt Notke’s painting, Danse Macabre. More than 500 years old, the painting depicts the world as seen through medieval eyes, but it remains topical even today. Originally up to 30 metres long, only the first part of the work - one of the most powerful depictions of the Christian world - is extant. Since the painting is not mentioned in the accounts of St Nicholas' church from 1465-1520, it is presumed that it was donated to the church by a wealthy individual or a guild. In the Silver Chamber, which was opened in the vestry, it is possible to see displays of silverware that belonged to the guilds of the city and the church. St. Nicholas' Church is a branch of the Art Museum of Estonia; its sacral art exhibition is the largest medieval and early modern ecclesiastical art collection in Estonia. When booked beforehand, tours in Estonian or English for groups of up to 35 people are available.

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Last updated : 25.03.2019

In category: History & Culture

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