On this Thursday - This year’s first Museum Academy!
Natalie Mei. Mehe portree. 1932. Eesti Kunstimuuseum.

Natalie Mei. Portrait of a man. 1932. Art Museum of Estonia.

This week’s lecture in our Museum Academy series which focuses on the subject of the flâneur in art and culture is going to take place in Tartu Art Museum on Thursday (22.01.2015) at 6 PM.

The fourth lecture in the succession of our Museum Academy series is related to the exhibition Typical Individuals. Graffiti and Street Art in Tartu 1994–2014 which will be concluded by the end of this month.The event is moderated by Marika Agu and art scholar Andres Kurg will delve deeper on the concept of the flâneur. All those who are interested are welcome to participate and join the discussion.

Tickets to the museum required for participation.

Additional information:

Marika Agu

Curator of Contemporary Art

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The number of visitors to different exhibitions held in Tartu Art Museum in 2014.
28.06.2013–12.01.2014 ‘Between the Forest and the Sea. Estonian Landscape Painting’ 692 (2014 aa)
01.11.2013–12.01.2014 ‘August Künnapu. The River of Life’ 692 (2014 aa)
18.12.2013–09.03.2014 Tartu Art Museum’s Art Atelier: ‘Jevgeni Zolotko. The Lukewarm’ 2035 (2014 aa)
23.01. –16.03. ‘Is This the Museum That We Wanted?’ 1474
12.04. –11.05. Tartu Art Museum’s Art Atelier: ‘Men with Hats’ 421
25.03. –01.06. ‘Cardigans and Kostabis: Tartu Exhibition Sites 1990-2014′ 2326
27.03. –07.06. ‘White Tank Top’ 2376
27.03.–07.06. ‘Magic of Nature. Mystical Moments in Estonian Art’ 2376
14.05. –01.06. Tartu Art Museum’s Art Atelier: ‘Lemmikteoste erinäitus’ 1306
04.06. –07.06. ‘Graduation Party’ 143
19.06. –24.08. ‘Archeological Festival_a 2nd Hand History and Improbable Obsessions’ 1267
02.07. –24.08. Tartu Art Museum’s Art Atelier: ‘Andres Tolts. Still-life’ 975
02.09. –02.11. Pilvi Takala’s solo exhibition ‘Attires and Attitudes’ 1352
04.09. –16.11. ‘White Tank Top’ 1527
04.09.–16.11. ‘Magic of Nature. Mystical Moments in Estonian Art’ 1527
07.11.2014–04.01.2015 ‘Typical Individuals. Graffity and Street Art in Tartu 1994 – 2014′ 1708 (2014 aa)
27.11.2014–02.03.2015 Exhibition of the works of Malle Leis ‘Yellow Summer’ 1049 (2014 aa)
04.12.2014–04.01.2015 ‘Museum Selection 2014. Edgar Tedresaar’ 689 (2014 aa)
Total: 23 935


Events taking place in Tartu Art Museum in January 2015

Thursday, 15th of January – Guided tours of the exhibitions

6 PM – Typical Individuals. Graffiti and Street Art in Tartu 1994–2014 (conducted by Marika Agu)

7 PM – Exhibition of the works of Malle Leis “Yellow Summer” (conducted by Tiiu Talvistu)

Tickets to the museum required for participation.

Thursday, 22nd of January at 6 PM – Museum Academy on the subject of the flâneur in art and culture

The fourth lecture in the succession of our Museum Academy series is related to the exhibition Typical Individuals. Graffiti and Street Art in Tartu 1994–2014 which will be concluded by the end of this month.The event is moderated by Marika Agu and art scholar Andres Kurg will delve deeper on the concept of the flâneur. All those who are interested are welcome to participate and join the discussion.

Tickets to the museum required for participation.

Saturday, 24th of January at 1 PM – Guided tours in the city + stencil workshop

This is the last and final opportunity to take part in a guided tour through the city during which different works of street art decorating the city walls of Tartu are introduced. The tour is conducted by Salme Liivrand. The tour’s starting and finishing point is the museum lobby located on Raekoja plats 18. For those who are interested a stencil workshop is also scheduled to take place after the tour.

Pre-registration is required for both events.

Pre-registration is possible by sending an e-mail to the following address:

Ticket price for the guided tour: 2 EUR

Ticket price for the stencil workshop: 2 EUR


Thursday, 29th of January at 7 PM – The Whole Story! on the subject of archival project Tartu 88 and the presentation of Triin Tulgiste’s new book

The Whole Story!, a lecture series focusing on the collections housed by the museum conducted on the third or fourth Thursday of every month, offers a chance to get a glimpse into the different recesses of one of our many collections. The upcoming event focuses on the museum’s archive collection and on Tartu 88, an archival project related to the aforementioned.

The book that will be presented is an accompaniment to the first exhibition conducted as part of the project Tartu 88 titled Cardigans and Kostabis: Tartu Exhibition Sites 1990-2014 which was open in Tartu Art Museum during the spring of 2014. The exhibition was centered around seven locations and eleven different galleries located at those locations that were selected in order to introduce the exhibition sites of Tartu through as many isolated instances as possible. Typical sales galleries, rooms combining showroom and clubbing activities, galleries related to schools as well as independent non-profit galleries are all represented. The book brings together the pictorial and textual matter presented in the exhibition being, hopefully, a helping hand for those interested in the field.

Tickets to the museum required for participation.


Additional information:

Hanna-Liis Kont

Coordinator of Exhibitions’ Department / Project Manager

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Malle Leis’ exhibition Võrumaa. Story of One Print
Malle Leis. Võrumaa XX. Trei rahvas. 1983. Autori omand.

Malle Leis. Võrumaa XX. Trei rahvas. 1983. Property of the author.


Starting from 09.01.2015 a new exhibition titled Võrumaa. Story of One Print is open in Tartu Art Museum’s Art Atelier which is an interestin addition to Malle Leis’ grand exhibition Yellow Summer. 

Võrumaa. Story of One Print focuses on the unique screenprinting method invented by artist Malle Leis and her husband Villu Jõgeva. The heydays of screenprinting, otherwise known as serigraphy, are tied to the 1960′s during which the Pop Art movement  chose it as the number one techinque to use in their artistic endeavours.  Andy Warhol’s screenprints depicted objects from everyday life and well-known public figures with what and whom the western world is by now bored to tears with. The stencils used in screenprinting transformed the resulting artworks impersonal and the uniquity of the artwork was lost. In serial production the only thing to vary were color combinations but the images stayed the same.

Screenprinting reached Estonia in the beginning of the 1970′s and Malle Leis became one of the most distinctive users of this technique. Leis, who was formerly known solely as a painter, was forced towards screenprinting by the reclusion of the Soviety society in which she had no possibility to be a part of the international art scene with her paintings. The absence of outside information forced Leis and her husband Villu Jõgeva to invent their own methods for creating screenprints. Thanks to the aforementioned Malle Leis’ individuality, manual virtuosity, and media specifity inherent to painting was preserved in their methods.  A native variant of the aesthetics of western Pop Art was born in which flowers and landscapes of Võrumaa became the subject matter. After all, isn’t the landscape of South-Estonia as exploited in our domestic context as is the Campbell’s soup can by Warhol? The motives used in the Võrumaa series were rich in color, attracted a diverse audience, and were in great demand on the art market. The sentimentally retrospective undertone of the prints seemingly alluded to a lost paradise creating a connection with the lost “Time of Estonia”. The artist’s touch was preserved while printing because Malle Leis händ-painted every detail on the silk which Villu printed and this was done about 10-12 seances in a row.

The exhibition is accompanied by Malle Leis. Võrumaa IX (1980), a film by Peeter Urbla which tells the story of one print from start to finish while at the same time depicting the everyday life of a modern family.
Alongside Malle Leis’ exhibitions the museum offers education programs directed towards different age-groups. For high school students the museum offers an illustrative lecture which focuses on Estonian Pop Art – the aforementioned lecture suits as an interesting addition to the section of Pop Art as taught in general art history courses. Younger children can apply different techniques of Pop Art in practical workshops. Additional information about our education programs is available on our museum’s homepage or by sending an e-mail to the following address:

Additional information about the exhibition:

Tiiu Talvistu

Curator of Collections


Tartu Art Museum invites all schoolchildren to participate in our art contest In Search of the Yellow Summer.

The long and dark wintertime of Estonia often makes one think about the sunny days and adventures of the bygone summer. It also makes one dream about the activities and adnventures of the forthcoming summer. Wintertime usually offers a lot of inspiration for winterly pictures but Tartu Art Museum is more interested about how would a vision of a perfect summer look like in the middle of winter.

From 27.11.2014-01.03.2015 the exhibition of the works of Malle Leis titled Yellow Summer is open in Tartu Art Museum. The creation of Malle Leis is as colorful and corky as a warm summer day. Her world of depiction is filled with different plants, vegetables, rainbows, horses, but also with those closest to her and important landscapes. …and of course flowers. Lots and lots of flowers.



1. Participation is open to all children of age-groups 7-10, 11-15, 16-18.

2. The format is free from any restrictions. Techniques: painting, drawing, graphics, collage, mixed media.

3. A label containing the following information has to be attached to the backside of all artworks submitted to the contest: name of the artwork, name of the author, age, school, instructor, contact information.

4. All artworks should be brought to or sent to the following address: Tartu Art Museum, Raekoja Plats 18, Tartu 51004. The submission deadline is the 13th of February.

5. The jury will consist of museum workers and artists. The very best of each seperate age-group will be rewarded with a prize. Winners will be announced on our museum’s homepage and on our Facebook page. Prizes will be handed out on the opening of the exhibition or sent by mail.

6. An exhibition consisting of the best artworks submitted to the contest will be held in Tartu Art Museum’s Art Atelier. The exhibition will be open from 19.02.2015 to 01.03.2015.

Additional information :

Kristel Sibul



Tartu Art Museum would like to thank its audience and partners and invites you to visit the museum in 2015 as well!


2014 for Tartu Art Museum in numbers:

1 new platform lift

5 renovated workspaces

6 new art publications

13 exhibitions

110 new works in our museum collection

379 posters in our newly established collection of graphic design

23 935 visitations to our exhibitions

Opening times during the holidays:

24.12.–26.12. – closed

27.12.–28.12. – open 11.00.–18.00.

31.12. – open 11.00.–15.00.

01.01.2015 – closed

from 02.01. onwards the museum is open on regular time schedule

„Museum Selection 2014: Edgar Tedresaar”


On Thursday, December 4 at 5 p.m. the exhibition „Museum Selection 2014: Edgar Tedresaar” will be opened in Tartu Art Museum’s Art Atelier. Opening will be followed by a conversation with the artist.

Tartu Art Museum has tried to offer art lovers real treats at the time of our birthday. During the last years after we opened the small Art Atelier this has taken the form of a project called “Museum Selection” whereby we offer a young artist who has shown real promise the possibility of their first museum exhibition. Previously we have selected Anna Hõbemäe and Alar Tuul who both brought warmth to the winter colds with their colourful collections that were made specially for the exhibition and showed their individuality in the best possible way.

This year the museum selection is Edgar Tedresaar who graduated from Tartu Art College in 2010 and completed his master’s studies at the University of Tartu Painting Department this June. Previously Tedresaar caught the eye with his surreal compositions that seemed to reference details from Chagall which led Tartu Art House gallery manager Indrek Grigor to name him as one of the most promising graduates of the Art College. Over the last years Tedresaar has turned towards more abstract paintings made of painted textiles that are then sewed together – one of the reasons for this new approach is surely the course on deconstruction of painting taught by Jaan Elken.

The resulting paintings contain something from Lucio Fontana and Antoni Tàpies and their relation to arte povera cannot be denied. For Tedresaar himself they represent landscapes and portraits that search for ways to exit the boundaries of painting while still maintaining the painterly aspects and the manual approach. At the present exhibition the green-grey palette of Tedresaar’s previous works has become richer and the construction of the paintings’ surface has become even more sculptural.

Supported by Estonian Cultural Endowment.

The exhibition “Museum Selection 2014: Edgar Tedresaar” will stay open until January 4.


Come and visit!


Peeter Talvistu

Exhibition coordinator

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Exhibition of the works of Malle Leis “Yellow Summer”
Malle Leis. Girls. 1972. Tartu Art Museum

Malle Leis. Girls. 1972. Tartu Art Museum


Curator: Tiiu Talvistu

The exhibition of the works of Malle Leis “Yellow Summer”, which opens on Thursday, 27th of November at 5 p.m at Raekoja plats 18, is Tartu Art Museum’s greatest event of the year.

Malle Leis, the grand old lady of Estonian art, appeared on the Estonian art landscape in the 1960s. Leis renounced the pictorial space of illusory air and light characteristic of the earlier Estonian art and built a personal art space using clear local tones and flat surfaces characteristic of pop art.

Leis started her art studies in 1958 at the Art School of Tartu and graduated in 1968 from the Estonian (State) Art Institute as a scenery artist. As a member of the creative association ANK ’64 organized upon the initiative of Tõnis Vint Leis belonged to the generation of artists characterized by an idealistic and searching spirit. The works of Leis from the 1960s use abstractionism and collage, both very characteristic of the period; there are also recognizable objects from real life – flowers, ants, butterflies, and rainbows.

At the beginning of the 1970s people appeared in the paintings of Leis. In these characters of frozen attitude and closed appearance later critics have found existential anxiety characteristic of the time. However, one of the most popular paintings of Malle Leis  “Red Horses” still feeding the myth of Leis as an eternal flower child has also been painted at the time.

In 1978 “Portrait of Actress Kersti Kreismann” was painted, followed by portraits of other known artists and cultural figures: Irja Kändler, Mari Saat, Boris Bernstein, Evi Pihlak, Raul Meel, and others.

But it was big colourful flowers taken out of their context that became the brand of the artist. Flowers and plants have always been present in the work of Malle Leis in oil paintings, watercolours, or silkscreen paintings; they lead their own very vital life, in places even more vital than people.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book illustrated richly with the works of Malle Leis and containing articles by Katrin Kivimaa and Bojana Pejić, a letter interview with Malle Leis from Tiiu Talvistu,  and excerpts from Villu Jõgeva’s the Story of  Silkscreen printing, etc.  The book has been compiled by Tiiu Talvistu, translated into English by Kersti Unt, edited by Richard Adang and Kristi Metste and designed by Tiit Jürna.

The educational programme of the exhibition introduces Estonian pop art to the older schoolchildren and offers workshops of creating flowery pictures for younger schoolchildren. More information or

The works presented at the exhibition come from the art museums of Estonia, Tartu, and Viinistu, from Narva Museum; from private collections and Malle Leis. The exhibition has been designed by Tiit Jürna. We are grateful to the Estonian Cultural Endowment for support.


More information:

Tiiu Talvistu

Curator of Collections


Exhibition “Typical Individuals. Graffiti and Street Art in Tartu 1994–2014″



Artists: Natalie Mei, Rauno Thomas Moss, Maris Männik, Kiwa, Kaido Ole, Aleksander Sprohgis, Roman-Sten Tõnissoo

Curator: Marika Agu

You are invited to the exhibition opening of “Typical Individuals. Graffiti and Street Art in Tartu 1994–2014″, on 7th of November at 5 o’clock pm in Tartu Art Museum. It’s the second exhibition by the archival project “Tartu 88″. It examines Tartu’s graffiti writers and street artists, thanks to whom Tartu has risen to mythical fame as the capital of Estonian street art. The suggestion to call these artists typical individuals stemmed from the way local culture is shaped following examples from abroad, combining foreign behavioural principles and exemplars with personal ambitions and soul-searchings.

At the same time, the exhibition makes references to the dandy and the flâneur, who are the archetypes of the graffiti writer and the street artist. Seemingly operating somewhere at the fringes of freedom and indefinability, with their presence and ostensibility, they try to dislocate the general working principles and social paradigm of a city. In order to use a city, to utilise its functions, a person does not necessarily have to live there – the city is like a stage, on which an individual can play different roles and express his or her desires anonymously.

It may seem arbitrary to examine the metropolis-bred flâneur and the Tartu graffiti writer and street artists in a common context, considering they come from different bases. Nevertheless, the latter are kindred spirits of the flâneur, who redefine the urban space in conjunction with the surrounding physical environment. Here today, there tomorrow, they are awaited with their masks.


The exhibition is accompanied with a publication in Estonian and English, which includes the explanation of the exhibition’s concept, overview of the development of graffiti and street art in Tartu and the descriptions of the works exhibited. Among other things, an essay about flâneuse by Francisco Martínez, and an article of graffiti as communicatiion-centred cultural phenomenon by Piret Voolaid.

Exhibition design: Margus Tamm, Taavi Villak

Language editor: Kadri Tüür

Translator: Priit Silm, Angela Adamson

Installation: Arvi Kuld, Kristjan Nagla

Thanks: Angela Adamson, Kristjan Bachmann, Barthol Lo Mejor, Edy, Fast K, Aleksander Heifets, Agnes Joala, Reigo Kuivjõgi, Kristen Kulberg, Kadri Lind, Erkki Luuk, Edward von Lõngus, Francisco Martínez, Märt Miljan, Medley, Uku Pira, Ruudu Rahumaru, Sirla, Kristjan Suits, Käty Tarkpea, Piret Voolaid.

Supporters: Eesti Kultuurkapital, Tartu Kultuurkapital, Hasartmängumaksu Nõukogu, ABLV Bank, Raba Pruulikoda, A. Le Coq, Slaid OÜ, Kaasaegse Kunsti Eesti Keskus, Tartu Elektriteater, Taiga OÜ.

Illustration of the press release: Urmas Nemvalts’ caricature published in Postimees, 1999.


Marika Agu


Special discount!

Tartu Art Museum is now on Instagram ! To selebrate, the following offer will hold untill the end of November:



Pilvi Takala’s solo show “Attires and Attitudes”

On Thursday, 4 September at 5 pm Pilvi Takala`s solo show “Attires and Attitudes” will open at Tartu Art Museum, Estonia.

For Tartu Art Museum, showing contemporary art by the most important artists from our neighbouring countries, alongside our own collection of Estonian contemporary art  has developed into a tradition. This year we have chosen Pilvi Takala from Finland, one of the most distinctive and productive artists amongst the younger generation active and in the international art scene today.

Pilvi Takala’s primary creative method is performative interventions into everyday rituals among different communities and through them experimental research into public space and prevailing social attitudes. She does not produce conceptual objects nor does she objectify concepts, her artistic practice is practice in its most direct sense – it is consistent, continuous and based on carefully planned activities. It is often simultaneously an action and a state of being that is presented in art spaces through edited and post-produced documentation. Each of her new works pushes the limits of her practice further, testing different strategies, and solving more and more complex situations. Pilvi often positions herself in the midst of experiments. Sometimes a seemingly trivial gesture leads to a conflict situation or confrontation, sometimes it gives an exciting inside view into a community’s attitudes and behavioural patterns. The artist’s intervening gestures are generally carefully staged-managed events, documentation of which we experience in the exhibition.

Pilvi Takala (born1981 in Helsinki, lives and works in Helsinki and Istanbul) graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki (2006), and was a resident at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (2009-2010). She has participated in the international art scene since 2004, with solo shows at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2013), Kunsthalle Erfurt (2012), SKOR, Amsterdam (2010), and Kiasma, Helsinki (2009) among others. Her works have been presented in numerous art institutions around the world, including MoMA PS1, New York (2013), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013), 53. October Salon, Belgrade (2012), 4th Bucharest Biennial (2010), 5th Berlin Biennial (2008) and 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005). She was the 2013 winner of the Emdash Award, Frieze London.

This exhibition at Tartu Art Museum is Pilvi Takala’s first comprehensive solo exhibition in the context of an art museum and it is a great honour and pleasure for us to host her and to produce this exhibition.

The exhibition “Attires and Attitudes” is accompanied by a publication that contains an interview with Pilvi Takala about her practices of art and life. 32 pages, in English and Estonian.

Tartu Art Museum is grateful to Pilvi Takala and her family for this collaboration.

Exhibition team:

Director of Tartu Art Museum: Rael Artel

Exhibition curator, booklet editor: Rael Artel

Exhibition and booklet designer: Epp Õlekõrs

Installation team: Hanna-Liis Kont (coordinator); Arvi Kuld, Kristjan Nagla, Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo (technicians), Angela Adamson (volunteer)

Special thanks: Vanessa Carlos, Naomi Pearce, Will Rees, Carlos/Ishikawa, London

Supporters:  Estonian Cultural Endowment, Frame Visual Art Finland

Welcome to the museum!

We open on September 3. (11 am, I and II floor) and on September 4. (5 pm, ground floor).

You are cordially invited to the exhibition opening of “Archeological Festival – a 2nd hand history and improbable obsessions” on Thursday, 19th June at 5 o’clock pm at Tartu Art Museum.

Afterparty in the museum courtyard from 7 o’clock pm (Vallikraavi 14, Tartu)

Exhibition “Archeological Festival_ A 2nd hand history and improbable obsessions” is dealing with the notion of memory and history and revisiting histories. We are working with the relationship between place and memory, decay and time and the effect spatial displacement has on personal identity.

Artists: Kaisa Eiche&Urmo Mets, Elmgreen&Dragset, Dénes Farkas, Cyprien Gaillard, David Ferrando Giraut, Paul Kuimet, Maria Minerva, Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson, Triin Tamm, Simon Van Til , Salla Tykkä, Anu Vahtra, Mare Vint.
Curator: Maria Arusoo