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Art Museum of Estonia Kaido Haagen Outside, Kumu, Photo Kaido Haagen, 2005

Art Museum of Estonia Kaido Haagen Outside, Kumu, Photo Kaido Haagen, 2005


Art Museum of Estonia

The Art Museum of Estonia, founded in 1919, has by today grown into several museums.
Historical ecclesiastical art from the Middle Ages up to the Baroque period is displayed in the Niguliste Museum, foreign art from the 16th to 20th century is displayed in the Kadriorg Art Museum, the art collection of Johannes Mikkel in the Mikkel Museum, the art of Adamson-Eric, a modernist Estonian artist of the 20th century, is displayed in the Adamson-Eric Museum, and Estonian art from the 18th century until today is housed in the Kumu Art Museum. The collection of the Art Museum of Estonia is constantly supplemented by earlier art, as well as by contemporary art.

Kumu museum – Art Lives Here!

Kumu is the headquarters of the Art Museum of Estonia, as well as the largest and most impressive exhibition venue in Estonia. In 2008 Kumu received the European Museum of the Year Award. This is a noteworthy international recognition of Kumu’s aspiration to become a truly contemporary art museum, which is not just dedicated to collection, conservation and exhibition, but is a multifunctional space for active mental activity, from educational programmes for small children to discussions about the nature and meaning of art in the modern world. It is Kumu’s ambition to constantly participate in the Estonian and international art worlds, to which a contribution is made by the 250-seat auditorium, with its film programme, performances, concerts, seminars and conferences, the educational centre, with programmes and courses directed at various age groups, and the library, with the widest selection of art literature in Estonia. Kumu’s role is to be both an educational and entertainment centre, a booster of art and artistic life, a place for reflection that carries a message of stability, a place that creates and provides experiences, and a creator and interpreter of meanings. Kumu is interested wide variety of artistic practices in international art field, therefore in 2015’s program you can find Hilma af Klint together with Ryoji Ikeda and Raymond Pettibon.


Niguliste museum –Rode Altarpiece in Close-up
History, Technical Investigation and Conservation of the Retable of the High Altar of
Tallinn's St. Nicholas’ Church. (2013–2015)

This large-scale project will last several years and is focused on the conservation of the Late Middle Ages retable of the high altar in St. Nicholas’ Church. The retable is one of the grandest and best preserved northern German altar retables from the Late Middle Ages. The retable was commissioned from the workshop of the famous Lübeck master Hermen Rode in 1478, and it arrived in Tallinn in 1481. More than forty saints and biblical figures are depicted in the retable and its dimensions place it among the largest retables from the 15th-century Hanseatic cities. Extensive conservation work was carried out between 1978 and 1992. The main sections of the retable were restored at that time, but the splendid sculptures are still only partly conserved. The conservators of the Art Museum of Estonia aim to complete the cleaning of the sculptures, and the conservation work will be accompanied by thorough research. It will also be possible to observe the conservation work which will be set up in the choir of St. Nicholas’ Church; the history of the retable, and the progress of the conservation work will be presented in the form of an exhibition that will grow over time. The plans for the next few years include an international conference, books and other publications, educational programmes and workshops. A touch-screen installation will provide visitors with information about the history of this splendid retable, the saints depicted therein and their legends.

Kadriorg Art Museum –Voyage pittoresque
The Artist-Brothers von Kügelgen in Germany, Russia and the Baltic Sea Region

Voyage pittoresque is an art and exhibition project which examines the regional visual history of 18th century Europe and its current field of meaning. By dealing with the ideals and works of Enlightenment Era artists who transcended the borders between countries and people, we will also deal more broadly with cultural memory in the Baltic Sea Region in the triangle comprised of the German and Russian historical legacies and the national identities of the Baltic countries. The aim of Voyage pittoresque is to organise three exhibitions (in Tallinn, Helsinki and Koblenz) of works by Franz Gerhard and Karl Ferdinand von Kügelgen. The exhibitions will differ based on the collaborating country, thereby offering several viewpoints related to the artists’ activities and emphasising their topicality in the cultural me mory of the specific region. Another output of the project will be a publication combining various contemporary approaches to the work of the von Kügelgen brothers and the artistic life of the Baltic Sea region at the turn of the 19th century. It can also be used as a catalogue for all three exhibitions. In addition to an exhibi tion exchange and related publications, a special effort will be made to organise specially targeted seminars, a joint public programme, a website and a film.

  • Art Museum of Estonia Inside
  • Art Museum of Estonia, Autoportrait of Franz Gerhard Kügelgen
  • Art Museum of Estonia, Project coordinator Hilkka Hiiop presenting the touch-screen set up in Niguliste, introducing the iconography of the altar, 2014