Museum collections and library (Vallikraavi 14) are temporarily closed for visitors. We are sorry for the inconvenience. Our exhibitions at Raekoja plats 18 are open from Wednesday to Sunday. Welcome!

Tartmus opens an exhibition of the travels of the collector Matti Milius

On 12 November, Tartu Art Museum’s Project Space opens an exhibition about the influential art collector Matti Milius (1945–2015). The exhibition primarily focuses on his network of contacts outside Tartu. Many stars of the 20th century avant-garde from Milius’s collection like Ilya Kabakov and Leonhard Lapin are included. The exhibition “Milius the Explorer” will remain open until 31 December.

The aim of the exhibition is to shed light on Matti Milius as a curator, collector and a personality inside Estonia and abroad. The title “Milius the Explorer” references his ambition to extend the geographical limits of his collection. He was active both as a collector and curator already during the Soviet Era and also during later years. Most of the works he collected were by artists from Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and other communist countries. After Estonia re-gained its independence, Finnish works were also included. Matti Milius’s collection was one of the largest in Estonia: at its height it included over 150 paintings and about 2000 prints and ex-librises. During his lifetime, he received works from hundreds of artists and usually free of charge. Milius was mostly interest in his contemporary avant-garde and the unofficial art of the Soviet Era.

The stories about Milius, that can be seen and heard at the exhibition, form the history of his collection. Milius’s relationship with an artist was personal and therefore the collection mostly consisted of works by his friends and acquaintances. His pseudonym Moguči and Milius’s participation in various happenings have also been included to introduce him as a natural performer: a characteristic that is always useful for a collector. The exhibition includes many photos, interviews, texts and artefacts connected to Matti Milius. Many significant avant-garde works from Milius’s collection have also been included that he received on his journeys to Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.

The present exhibition is part of the archive project Tartu’88 that maps the art life in Tartu over the last 25 years.

Participating artists: Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė (LT), Ilmārs Blumbergs (LV), Gleb Bogomolov (RU), Haralds Elceris (LV), Toomas Griin, Aime Hansen, Jorma Hautala (FI), Danutė Jonkaitytė (LT), Ilya Kabakov (RU/US), Linas Leonas Katinas (LT), Raivo Kelomees, Lauri Kulpsoo, Leonhard Lapin, Tõnu Noorits, Miervaldis Polis (LV), Ain Protsin, Eduard Šteinberg (RU), Raivo Tasso, Malev Toom, Reiu Tüür, Silver Vahtre and Toomas Vint

Curator: Ruuda Liisa Malin

Co-ordinator: Peeter Talvistu

Exhibition team: Nele Ambos, Merli-Triin Eiskop, Joanna Hoffmann, Mare Joonsalu, Hanna-Liis Kont, Kadri Mägi ja Ago Teedema

Thanks: Renna Ali, Mati Aun, Inese Baranovska, Lilija Dinere, Viktor Gurov, Pikkar Joandi, Tiiu Kimber, Kaisa Kivimaa, Mart Lepp, Jane Liiv, Harry Liivrand, Jaan Malin, Vladimir Pavlov, Tiina Piikmann, Olga Pole, Margus Punab, Kristjan Raba, Inga Rätsep, Aet Sorokolet, Riho Suurmets, Toms Zvirbulis, Peeter Urbla and Andris Vitolins

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Join us on Facebook:

Additional information:
Hanna-Liis Kont
Manager of Exhibitions Department
Phone: 58817801


Tartmus opens an exhibition of views of Tartu in Estonian art

Beginning 11 November Tartu Art Museum will introduce its rich collections with a new exhibition on the depiction of Tartu in paintings and prints throughout Estonian art history. The exhibition includes numerous artists associated with the Pallas art school, such as Nikolai Triik, Johannes Võerahansu and Kaarel Liimand, as well as Baltic German artists from the 19th century. The opening of the exhibition takes place on 10 November at 6pm. The exhibition will remain open until 19 February 2017.

The aim of the exhibition is to introduce the museum’s collections through works from the last two centuries depicting Tartu. This selection offers a historic overview of the changes in the perception and representation of Tartu and its symbolic locations. Visitors will take a stroll through the history of some of these places and they can see the transformations in the town, as well as in the art that has depicted it.

There are many places and symbols in Tartu that are seen as characteristic of its identity, and the present exhibition has chosen four locations that are often associated with Tartu: the suburbs, the Emajõgi River, the main building of the University of Tartu and Toome Hill. These locations make the changes that have taken place in the life of the town and its art clearly visible.

Participating artists: Indrek Aavik, Ellinor Aiki, Albert Anni, Peet Aren, August Philipp Clara, Nigul Espe, August Matthias Hagen, Hermann Eduard Hartmann, Helgi Hirv, Louis Höflinger, Andrus Johani, Richard Kaljo, Albert Kesner, Elmar Kits, Johann Wilhelm Krause, Woldemar Friedrich Krüger, Kaja Kärner, Mailiis Laur, Erich Leps, Kaarel Liimand, Lola Liivat-Makarova, Lepo Mikko, Hando Mugasto, Ella Mätik, Kalju Nagel, Villem Ormisson, Erich Pehap, Varmo Pirk, Karl Pärsimägi, Gustav Raud, Friedrich Schlater, Hermann Friedrich Schrenck, August Schuch, Imat Suumann, Ernst Tiido, Albert Toomapoeg, Nikolai Triik, Nadežda Tšernobai, Johannes Uiga, Lüüdia Vallimäe-Mark, Aleksander Vardi and Johannes Võerahansu.

The exhibition is accompanied by an educational program. Additional information:

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog in Estonian, English, Russian and German that includes reproductions of the exhibited works. The publication has been compiled by Merli-Triin Eiskop and designed by Jaan Evart.

Curator: Merli-Triin Eiskop
Graphic design: Jaan Evart
Exhibition design: Inga Heamägi
Exhibition team: Richard Adang, Nele Ambos, Rael Artel, Karl Feigenbaum, Joanna Hoffmann, Mare Joonsalu, Margus Joonsalu, Hanna-Liis Kont, Heiti Kulmar, Jaanika Kuznetsova, Kadri Mägi, Kristjan Nagla, Julia Polujanenkova, Kristel Sibul, Peeter Talvistu and Ago Teedema

Thanks: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Tartu City Council, University of Tartu Art Museum, private collections, Raimu Hanson and Tiiu Talvistu

Additional information:
Hanna-Liis Kont
Manager of Exhibitions Department
Phone: 58817801


Tartmus presents unknown paintings by beloved artist Konrad Mägi

Tartu Art Museum is pleased to present two completely unknown paintings by Konrad Mägi. The works will be on display from 13 October in the exhibition The Unknown Konrad Mägi in the museum’s project space. The paintings belong to a private collection so we recommend using this rare opportunity to see them with one’s own eyes. The exhibition is open until 6 November 2016.

Mägi, a favourite artist among the Estonian audiences, has been the subject of rather thorough research. The first study was published in 1932 by Rudolf Paris, this was followed by Evi Pihlak’s monograph in 1979 and by Maie Raitar’s book in 2011, containing plenty of imagery and archival material. Raitar’s aim was to identify and reproduce as many works as possible, creating a feeling in the reader that we now know everything about the art of Konrad Mägi.

Yet it was possible that one day two works were brought to the museum that have not been mentioned in previous literature and that no one has seen before. For years the paintings have been kept on the wall of someone’s home and lately even behind a cupboard, to keep them safe from the family’s children.

Especially remarkable is the enchanting landscape painting with figures in shades of blue. Konrad Mägi usually preferred landscapes without people and the human figure has now and then occurred only on the views of Southern countries. However, the present motif is quite certainly an Estonian one. It is probably a landscape of lake Pühajärv. The second painting is a beautiful seaside view which was probably painted on the island of Saaremaa, possibly in the summer of 1920 when Konrad Mägi spent time in Kuressaare to improve his health.

Curator: Mare Joonsalu

Exhibition team: Merli-Triin Eiskop, Margus Joonsalu, Hanna-Liis Kont, Kristel Sibul, Peeter Talvistu, Ago Teedema

Graphic design: Jaan Evart

The restoration works were carried out by Alar Nurkse and Maris Klaas from the Art Museum of Estonia.

Join the exhibition on Facebook:


More information:
Hanna-Liis Kont
Manager of Exhibitions Department


Exhibition “Encounter Estonian Design. An Introduction“

Exhibited designs:

Anna von Maydell / Atelier für Kunstgewerbe, A.M. Luther furniture factory, J. Lorup glass factory, E. Taska workshop, Tarbeklaas, Standard, Estoplast, Kunst ja Kodu, Tallinna Ehituskeraamikatehas, Kunstitoodete Kombinaat, Punane Ret, Salvo, Ruum ja Vorm, Martin Pärn, Tarmo Luisk, Veiko Liis, Jaanus Orgusaar, Kärt Ojavee, Raili Keiv, Keha3, HUUM, Iseasi, Scheckmann, Kärt Põldmann, Marit Ilison, Warm North, Johanna Tammsalu, Monika Järg, Anton Koovit, Kelpman Textile, etc.

Curator: Kai Lobjakas, Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design

On 29 September, an overview of the history of Estonian design curated by the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design will be opened in Tartmus. It concentrates on the most important aspects and trends in Estonian design. For Tartmus, this is the first overview of Estonian design. “Encounter Estonian Design. An Introduction” will remain open until 1 January 2017.

Over the last decades the various aspects and layers of Estonian design have been thoroughly researched. Design, like most other labels and ideas with a prolonged history, has been redefined to reflect the needs of any era. The rise of new meanings, however, has meant that understanding design has become harder and some of the newer definitions might not be compatible with the older ones. To some, “design” might mean a specific technical detail or an especially valuable chair, but others might define it as life altering innovation. This raises the questions: is design an object or a service, visible or invisible, a product, a unique item or an idea?

The spatial and temporal borders have also been changing. The history of design either begins with human civilization, with the industrialization period of the end of the 18th century, or with the years following the Second World War. All of these definitions, however, see design as a means of change – either for a group or an individual. It makes life easier, safer and happier.

Although Estonians have participated in the creation of many important design solutions – like the spy camera Minox or the communication platform Skype – our design has been historically associated with light industry and everyday life.

The Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design has used the last 15 years to map the local design landscape and to place its history into context. With new information, the idea of Estonian cultural heritage has grown. The present exhibition is based on this research and connects the history of design with contemporary ideas. Using a selection of examples that have been considered the most prominent of their time, it contextualizes the Estonian design landscape and reveals the various aspects that are its most distinguishing characteristics.

An educational programme for various age groups will accompany the exhibition.

Exhibition graphic design: Indrek Sirkel

Exhibition design: Edina Dufala-Pärn. Containing exhibition modules by 3+1 designed for the 2006 Tallinn Applied Arts Triennial.

Exhibition team: Nele Ambos, Rael Artel, Karl Feigenbaum, Joanna Hoffmann, Margus Joonsalu, Sten Ojavee, Julia Polujanenkova, Kristel Sibul, Peeter Talvistu, Ago Teedema

Supporters: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, architectural office 3+1

Thanks: UBS Repro, Estonian Film Archives, AS Põltsamaa Felix

Additional information:
Joanna Hoffmann
Contemporary art curator
Phone: 58817802

Architectural exhibition “Who Creates the City?“

On 29 September, the exhibition “Who Creates the City?” asks who has shaped the urban environment of Tartu, for what reasons and with what resources and results. Three galleries introduce the activities and spatial outcomes of the city government, the developers and the citizen activists. The fourth contains contemporary visual and textual works representing the notable locations of Tartu and shaping the face of the town. The exhibition is curated by the architectural historian Pille Epner and co-curated by architect Kaja Pae. “Who Creates the City?” will remain open until 4 December.

The aim of the exhibition is to look at the town from the viewpoint of different participating groups. The intelligent development of urban environment is determined by the visions of various participants, their ability to carry out dialogues and to achieve co-operation. We can create a better city together by understanding what possibilities and means for developing the urban space are held by the city government, the real estate developers and the citizens themselves.

The exhibition offers a map for an active citizen, an overview of designs for public spaces and shows architectural objects that understand their context. Glimpses of the mysterious edges of Tartu that shape the atmosphere in the town in their own hidden ways can also be found. In addition, 15 interviews representing various relevant groups are displayed, including architects and officials who plan the town, real estate developers and citizen activists.

According to the curators, the exhibition concentrates on the most important processes and initiatives that shape the urban environment of Tartu. “Over the last years, a heated discussion has been carried out asking critical questions about a high-quality urban environment that would follow the historic traditions of Tartu. On the one hand, it is a sign that a more thorough approach to urban planning is needed, on the other it also suggests that the different parties are prepared to hold dialogues.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a map for an urban connoisseur that introduces the contemporary architecture of Tartu and shows the ways off the beaten path.


Curator: Pille Epner

Co-curator: Kaja Pae

Exhibition design and photos: Paco Ulman

Graphic design: Tuuli Aule

Illustrator: Eleonora Kolycheva

Exhibition team: Richard Adang, Rael Artel, Merli-Triin Eiskop, Karl Feigenbaum, Joanna Hoffmann, Margus Joonsalu, Jaanika Kuznetsova, Kadri Mägi, Sten Ojavee, Kristel Sibul, Peeter Talvistu, Ago Teedema.

Thanks: Tõnis Arjus, Karin Bachmann, Liisa-Lota Kaivo, Volli Kalm, Lemmit Kaplinski, Kalev Kase, Marie Kliiman, Jarno Laur, Kadri Leetmaa, Kadri Lind, Holger Loodus, Lilian Lukka, Sandra Mälk, Meel Paliale, Tanel Paliale, Ilmar Part, Kristiina Praakli, Martti Preem, Aili Saluveer, Tiit Sild, Sirla, Hettel Sõrmus, Enriko Talvistu, Anna-Liisa Unt, Siim Vatalin.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Additional information:

Joanna Hoffmann

Contemporary art curator

Phone: 58817802


Laivi’s solo exhibition “Poor Girl / Too Cool”  in Tarmus’ project room. 

Laivi’s solo exhibition “Poor Girl / Too Cool” will be open from Friday, the 8th of July in Tartmus’ project room. Laivi whose creative work is positioned on the questionable common grounds of contemporary art and fashion design, is a post-graduate student of fashion at Aalto University in Helsinki. Since 2010 she has been an active participant of the Estonian and Finnish art and fashion scene: she has taken part in fashion shows in Estonia, Russia, Finland and Italy and also in several substantial exhibitions of contemporary art in Estonia. The exhibition will stay open until the 14th of August.

The essence of the Laivi’s work has been projecting her ideal mental imagery onto clothing. More than ever before, her experiments with textiles have formed into ready-to-wear garments. Clothes that have been made as objects detached from the body carry a much higher value than products made for short-term satisfaction. The artist writes: “It seems that to be satisfied with ourselves and our looks we always need something new. Enterprise that is focused on endless production, consumption and revenue values the number of sales over quality. The exhibition guides the audience to ask themselves, on the behalf of self-love, about the duration of the state of satisfaction and the level of quality enabled.”

In her solo exhibition Laivi dissects the different sides of her creative production and develops a dialogue about the power that institutional systems possess to change the value and meaning of the exhibited objects. Smart sellers create surplus value via the air around the products, presenting clothing as works of art on the walls of museums.

Could it be that in the future museums share their space with boutiques and shops to withstand the high rent fees and market competition? What is the relation between museums and museum shops? What could be the next steps to ensure survival for a museum located in a small town? These are some of the questions that the exhibition in Tartmus’ project room invites you to analyse and ponder on.



Press Photo: Alan Proosa

Curator: Sten Ojavee

Sound design: Mihkel Maripuu

Poster design: Lauri Suurväli

Photography: Alan Proosa ja Laivi

Board of commissioners: Karl Feigenbaum, Joanna Hoffmann, Margus Joonsalu, Kristel Sibul 


Contributor: Cultural Endowment of Estonia

We also thank E.M.A. Model Management and MJ Model Management


Additional information:

Sten Ojavee

Coordinator of Exhibitions’ Department

Tel: 5881 7802


Mikoff. Sculptures


Curator: Gregor Taul

The exhibition of the works of Mare Mikoff “Mikoff. Sculptures” which opens on Friday, the 10th of June, is Tartu Art Museum’s greatest event of the year. Exhibition is accompanied by educational program, workshops, sharing game in Instagram and work sheets in museum. The exhibition will remain open until the 18th of September.

The retrospective exhibition passes through the artistic career of one of the most important Estonian sculptors, giving a comprehensive overview Mikoff’s development as an artist, her aesthetic convictions and witty worldview. Mikoff’s show conjointly keeps on with Tartu Art Museum’s tradition of presenting legendary and respected female artists. With Mikoff’s works and activities as a background the exhibition draws special attention to sculpture and monumental art in public space which has been a hot topic in Estonian recent history.

Mare Mikoff (born in 1941 in Tallinn) has been active as a sculptor since the beginning of the 1970s. She studied sculpture in the Estonian State Art Institute between 1961 to 1971 and for a while history in Tartu University (1962–1964). Mikoff has been a freelance artist most of her life, though she has also worked as a restorer of medieval coats-of-arms, as an artistic director of the ARS monumental sculpture studio and as a Chief Artist of Tallinn City Government. Since 1997 she has been a teacher of sculpture in the Estonian Academy of Arts and since 2007 a teacher in the University of Tartu’s Viljandi Culture Academy. The exhibition includes artist’s top works spanning from five decades, many of which are established in the Estonian art history. In addition to her well-known portrait busts of public figures, experimental and somewhat forgotten installations from the 1990s and latest politically charged installations will be exhibited.

Mikoff who has always kept pace with the time, has created two new works for the exhibition. Characteristically both of them are sharp and humorous comments on the surrounding artistic and social reality. Mikoff’s best known public sculptures are Paul Keres in Pärnu, 100 000th resident of Tartu and Country Women in Tartu and Dusk in the centre of Tallinn. The exhibition presents a drone video of the sculpture which helps to give the viewer the best view of its form – as form has always been the most important aspect of sculpture for Mikoff.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 240-page bilingual (Estonian-English) catalogue, which gives a complete overview of Mikoff’s oeuvres from the years 1971 to 2016. The artist’s creative path is analysed in depth by art critic and curator Reet Varblane. Vladimir Frolov, an architectural historian and critic from St. Petersburg, has contributed with an essay about the notion of realism in socialist and post-socialist art. Mikoff’s curator and the compiler of the catalogue Gregor Taul focuses in his essay on the specific medium of sculpture: compared to painting and graphic arts, sculpture has historically been more a matter of architecture, public space and politics. The textual part ends with Taul’s comprehensive interview with Mare Mikoff. The catalogue (ISBN 978-9949-9766-5-2) is designed by Jaan Evart.

The exhibition goes hand in hand with a coherent educational programme involving an artist talk, curator’s tours, sculpting workshops for school children and a day-long conference on public art. For a detailed information about the educational programme please visit


Press Image: Mare Mikoff. Mare. 1995. Aluminium, textile, paint. Tartu Art Museum. Foto: Elise Kasak.

Exhibition’s team: Gregor Taul (curator), Arthur Arula, Edith Karlson (design), Jaan Evart (graphic designer), Heiti Kulmar (coordinator), Hedi Jaansoo, Elise Kasak (photographers), Sten Ojavee (public relations).

The exhibited works come from private collections, the artist’s collection, Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn Art Hall’s collection.

The museum wishes to thank: Rael Artel, Karl Feigenbaum, Mare Hunt, Bruno Kadak, Elise Kasak, Juta Kivimäe, Anne Lass, Maanus Masin, Urmas Luik, Jukko Nooni, Mart Laul, Tamara Luuk, Vahur Lõhmus, Urmas Puhkan, Emil Urbel, Valmar Voolaid, Emer Värk.

Supporter: Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Additional information:

Sten Ojavee

Coordinator of the Exhibitions Department

Phone: 00372 58817802


On Thursday, 3 March at 17:30 Japanese artist Hirohisa Koike’s conversation and workshop „Map of micro histories  – photography workshop on personal memories and places“  in association with Laura Põld’s exhibition “Hundreds of Illusions Charted as Land” will be held  in Tartmus.

Koike’s starting point is Põld’s personal exhibition where the artist also maps out her memories from a trip to Japan in her short texts. In turn, Koike invites the audience to discuss the idea of storing personal memories in a work of art, in photography.

Personal memory/history is unique, it does not try to convey immutable facts but a personal experience. Koike’s own oeuvre has been characterized as an autobiographic diary where the artist is trying to record the unrecordable: the disappearance of time, people and landscape.

In the course of the event, Koike will explain the idea of microhistories and invites the participants to create a common map of visual microhistories of Tartu.

Bring along a smart device or a photo camera! Photos by the participants will be later collected into an Instagram page.

Entrance with museum ticket.


Join the event in Facebook:
Hirohisa Koike (b 1979) is an artist living in Gumma, Japan. He has a bachelor’s degree in German from Dokkyo University, Saitama, and a master’s degree in photography from the Musashino Art University, Tokyo; at the latter he has also worked on his doctoral studies. He has taught photography in the Ochanomizu Art College, Tokyo. His works are mainly based on portraiture. Since 2005 he has had exhibitions in Japan, France, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.


Further information:

Sten Ojavee

Coordinator of Exhibition´s Department



Laura Põld’s solo exhibition “Hundreds of Illusions Charted as Land”

On Friday, 15 January Laura Põld’s solo exhibition “Hundreds of Illusions Charted as Land” will open in Tartmus. This time the artist has combined elements from her previous exhibitions with new themes to form a whole new landscape. Exhibition will stay open until 20th of March.

Laura Põld, who has studied ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts and painting at the University of Tartu, has found recognition in Estonia and abroad for her painting and spatial installations filled with found object aesthetics. A year ago, her poetic environments consisting of paintings, videos and natural objects, including “Attempts to Stage a Landscape”, “Castle” and “The Night Your Mate Danced Like a Tree”, won her the annual award of the Foundation for Fine and Applied Arts of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. At the present exhibition, the artist and the curator Peeter Talvistu have collaborated to create a world that contains both new and well-known elements that form a monumental environment.

Laura Põld says: “It is a collection of places, spatial experiences, colours, materials and spots of light on my studio wall that I have tried to map, but whose existence becomes more dubious by the day. Since this is my first exhibition in a space that has more than one room, I have been especially careful about staging the movement between the works. Through Juhan Vihterpal’s sounds, viewers will find hints of locations, conversations, steps on stone pavements and the works contained in the exhibition. The ideas circulate and transform through different rooms and studios, and over time.”

Two weeks after the opening, on 28 January, the catalogue covering Laura Põld’s present oeuvre, entitled “Laura Põld and Hundreds of Illusions Charted as Land”, will be presented. The 264-page English and Estonian book is richly illustrated with reproductions of works from Põld’s previous exhibitions, and also contains the documentation of the present display. Põld’s works are analysed by Post Brothers, Liisa Kaljula and Peeter Talvistu. The graphic design of both the catalogue and the exhibition is by Tuuli Aule.


Press photo: Jürgen Voolaid

Exhibition team: Richard Adang, Nele Ambos, Tuuli Aule, Leelo-Mai Aunbaum, Karl Feigenbaum, Margus Joonsalu, Dana Karjatse, Arvi Kuld, Kristjan Nagla, Sten Ojavee, Kristel Sibul, Urmo Teekivi, Markus Toompere, Juhan Vihterpal and Jürgen Voolaid

Supporters: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Cultural Endowment of Tartu and Tartu Artists’ Union

Additional information:

Peeter Talvistu

Exhibition curator

5650 7782

Tartu Art Museum opens an exhibition about camera-based contemporary art on 20th of November.

The exhibition “From Explosion to Expanse. Estonian Contemporary Photography 1991—2015” is the first such large-scale exhibition focusing on contemporary camera-based art, and follows the evolution of photography into one of the most prominent and versatile mediums in Estonian art since the beginning of the nineties. Exhibition will be open until 28.02.2016.

Most global success stories of contemporary art are nowadays linked to photography and photographic education; camera-based work has advantage because of its contemporary, potent visual language. When making an overview of the last 25 years the aim, therefore, is to sketch a picture of camera-based art as a contemporary medium and its most important themes, while using the works of 45 artists as examples. The most significant themes are memory and the creation of memories, the creation and study of social and sexual roles, photography as a medium which carries political charge, and photography as a construer and presenter of the visual and aesthetic world.

In all the works the artist and the camera are active participants and self-conscious meddlers. „Contemporary photographic art is primarily related to people’s identities and self-presentation in social and political context. When creating an image, the artist ought to be bold and precise, because the photographic image has an ability to influence our perception of reality which seems ordinary, or how we imagine our ideals,“ explains curator Anneli Porri.

The period of 20-odd years covered by the exhibition has seen huge changes take place in both art and society. The beginning of the 1990s can be compared to an explosion: a sharp transition in public life brought with it rapid developments in unexpected directions also in art, including changes in the way exhibitions were organised and curated. Exiled from the art halls and galleries until then, photography was quickest to react to these changes and became the herald of a new aesthetic, restorer of discarded memories, mirror to the new society. Expanse, by contrast, is primarily a metaphor for the broadened horizons of our contemporary art scene, equal opportunities, and contemporary art’s global reach, which is now open to any artist.

„As a museum of art and an institution of memory we have a task to draw attention to significant shifts in the art scene, and the 1995 Saaremaa biennal Fabrique d’Histoire was something which undoubtedly caused one such shift. We decided to celebrate that spectacular event which in mid-nineties’ Estonia had an incredible scope, and which powerfully brought contemporary art in its modern sense to Estonia’s art scene, using predominantly the medium of photography. We would now like to offer the public an overview of what has been happening in photographic art in the last 20 years,“ Rael Artel clarifies.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an exhibition publication containing interviews and essays; it is edited by Anneli Porri and designed by Jaan Evart. Annika Toots writes about photography as a medium of memory; an interview with Eve Kiiler provides emotional and factual background for the artists and the context of the works in the last 30 years. Marge Monko and Hanno Soans talk about photography and the author’s position in contemporary photography.

Artists: Avangard (Sandra Jõgeva & Margus Tamm), DeStudio (Herkki-Erich Merila & Peeter Laurits), Kaisa Eiche, Dénes Farkas, F.F.F.F. (Kristi Paap, Kaire Rannik, Berit Teeäär, Ketli Tiitsar, Maria Valdma), JIM (Johannes Säre, Iti Connor, Maido Juss), Toomas Kalve, Eve Kiiler, Mari-Leen Kiipli, Paul Kuimet, Laura Kuusk, Mari Laanemets, Marco Laimre, Peeter Laurits, Ly Lestberg, Peeter Linnap & Jaanus Nõgisto, Arne Maasik, Herkki-Erich Merila & Arbo Tammiksaar, Marge Monko, Tanja Muravskaja, Krista Mölder, Katja Novitskova, Taavi Piibemann & Toomas Thetloff, Birgit Püve, Mark Raidpere, Piia Ruber, Piret Räni, Jaanus Samma & Alo Paistik, Liina Siib, Tiit Sokk, Andres Tali, Peeter Tooming & Carl Sarap, Laura Toots, Mare Tralla, Anna-Stina Treumund, Anu Vahtra & Na Kim, Tarvo Hanno Varres, Sigrid Viir, Mart Viljus, Toomas Volkmann, Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo.

Curator: Anneli Porri.

The exhibition was designed by Neeme Külm, the exhibition publication by Jaan Evart. The exhibition publication was produced in co-operation with Liilia Buschmann, Indrek Grigor, Eve Kiiler, Katrin Kivimaa, Andrus Laansalu, Marge Monko, Sten Ojavee, Erik Prozes, Vahur Puik, Rebeka Põldsam, Hanno Soans, Jaak Tomberg, Annika Toots, Marie Vellevoog, and edited by Anneli Porri.

Exhibition team: Marika Agu, Nele Ambos, Karl Feigenbaum, Urmo Teekivi, Kristel Sibul, Sten Ojavee, Julia Polujanenkova.

Exhibition´s educational programs and publication is organized in co-operation with Tallinn Photomonth 2015.

We are grateful for the support of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Outset Estonia, Art Museum of Estonia, Contemporary Art Museum Estonia, Photo Museum of the Tallinn City Museum, TV 3, Kaisa Eiche, Karin Karindi, Margus Punab, Tiina Põllu, Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, the Council of Gambling Tax, and all the supporters of the Hooandja campaign for Tallinn Photomonth 2015.

Further information:
Sten Ojavee
Coordinator of Exhibition´s Department

Tartmus opens “A New Beginning”, the third show in their anniversary exhibition series
01.10. – 22.11.2015

The title of the exhibition refers to the new beginning the museum found in 1946 in its new building, a former dwelling house at Vallikraavi Street 14, after losing its previous space during the war.

This exhibition focuses on the exhibition programme of the Tartu Art Museum from 1946 to 1950, juxtaposing ideologically suitable works with those that were not. The exhibition also includes excerpts from archival documents and art criticism of the time.

The aim of the exhibition is to shed light on the history of the museum and the conditions of exhibition making in the difficult post war period, ruled by fear, when artists could suddenly be declared “enemies of the nation and the state”. The exhibition shows how the state’s increased interest in art influenced the themes that were displayed at the time and banished most of the artists from the 1920s and the 1930s from the museum’s programme.

In March 1945 the Council of People Commissars of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Estonia (bolsheviks) declared Socialist Realism as the only acceptable style in art and criticised the Estonian art of the past as Formalist and thematically poor and dominated by landscapes and still lifes. It was required that art promoted Soviet mentality. In order to educate Estonian artists in these matters, examples from Soviet and Russian artists were included in local exhibitions.

From 1946 onwards notions like “bourgeois anachronisms”, “aestheticism”, “apolitical stance” and “lack of ideas” came under increasing scrutiny. The overall atmosphere became one of fear and hysteria, anyone could be charged with “bourgeois nationalism”, “Formalism” and “cosmopolitism”.

Artists: Adamson-Eric, Ivan Aivazovsky, Richard Kaljo, Pavel Kirpichov, Ernst Kollom, Arkadio Laigo, Isak Levitan, Kaarel Liimand, Mikhail Matorin, Villem Ormisson, Richard Sagrits, Martin Saks, Vladimir Sergeyev, Vassily Simonov, Dementi Shmarinov, Salome Trei, Ado Vabbe.

Curator: Sten Ojavee

Tartmus would like to thank Rael Artel, Karl Feigenbaum, Margus Joonsalu, Mare Joonsalu, Hanna-Liis Kont, Heiti Kulmar, Keiu Krikmann, Kadri Mägi, Tiiu Talvistu, Peeter Talvistu, Raul Veede.

You are welcome to celebrate the birthday of Tartmus with us!

About the exhibition series

In the year 2015 Tartmus has its 75th jubilee. It was 75 years ago that the artists’ union Pallas finally accomplished their long time dream and Tartu Art Museum was founded. It is an immense collective effort to build a state museum from what began as private conversations between artists. That effort should not be underestimated under any political conditions.

With the assistance of three small exhibitions, the viewers have a chance to make a trip to the beginning times of the museum and the cultural context of 1940s Tartu. All three exhibitions are based on valuable archival materials (historical documents, photos, articles etc) that are rarely shown to the public. In addition, unique works from the high time of Tartu’s art scene are shown – pieces made by outstanding Pallas school artists.

The first exhibition in the series The Victory of Art concentrated on the founding of the museum in the year 1940 and the very first artworks of the collection, when the museum was forced to move again and again. The third and last exhibition in the series The New Beginning introduces the period after World War II (1946–1950), when the museum was able to start its normal way of working.

The exhibited artworks and archival materials are from the collection of Tartu Art Museum.

The exhibition series Tartmus 75! is supported by Tartu City Council.



On September 18 the exhibition „The Hidden Side of Tartmus Collections” will be opened at Tartu Art Museum. At this exhibition, the traditional focal point of the viewer is moved from the front side of the art works to the back. The exhibition will be open until November 8.

Participating artists: Amandus Adamson, Ida Adamson, Ellinor Aiki, Viktor Bibikov, Pierre Joseph Dedreux-Dorcy, Eduard Einmann, Nigul Espe, Julius Gentalen, Pjotr Nikolajevitš Gruzinski, Helmi Astrid Herman, Oskar Hoffmann, Ernst Jõesaar, Oskar Kallis, Hilda Kamdron, Elmar Kits, Aleksander Krims-Radava, Ilmar Kruusamäe, Nikolai Kummits, Elisabet Kurre, Woldemar Friedrich Krüger, Endel Kõks, Johann Köler, Märt Laarman, Ants Laikmaa, Laurentsius, Abel Lee, Erich Leps, Lola Liivat, Karl Ludwig Maibach, Karin Luts, Jüri Marran, Agnes Mikk-Lamp, Juhan Muks, Konrad Mägi, August Mölder, Marco Nipper, Valdur Ohakas, Ilmar Ojalo, Eduard Ole, Henrik Olvi, Aleksander Orlovski, Villem Ormisson, Aare Paap, Varmo Pirk, Juhan Püttsepp, Carl Raedlein, Eduard Rüga, Sven Saag, Johannes Saal, Richard Sagrits, Toomas Sarapuu, Karl August Senff, Rudolf Sepp, Ilja Sokolov, Ülo Sooster, Bruno Sõmeri, Kristjan Teder, Erika Tiisler, Eduard  Timbermann, Ado Vabbe, Voldemar Vaga, Aleksander Vardi, Kuno Veeber, Ants Viidalepp, Urmas Viik, Lilly Walther, Eduard Wiiralt.

The exhibition „The Hidden Side of Tartmus Collections” can be viewed at Tartu Art Museum from September 18. This exhibition is based on museum’s collections and introduces the concealed side of art works.  It is a world inhabited every day by art historians, collectors and museum workers, but remains mostly hidden to the visitors.

On the one hand, this is a hidden world that is not meant for the eyes of the wider audience, on the other, the works are made with the aim of being seen and standing in the centre of attention. Therefore the backside can be considered a public secret. Labels, stamps, writings, sketches and patches are some of the “secrets” that will be presented to the audience in an unconventional manner.

A bilingual publication „Peidetud poolelt / From the Hidden Side“ will also accompany the exhibition. It contains detailed reproductions of many of the exciting discoveries that are found on the backside of art works.

Photo credits: The backside of Kirstjan Teder’s “Paris in Bloom” that shows a work that was made during his studies at the Vasily Shukaev private academy. (Photo: Tõnu Tamm)

Curator: Nele Ambos

Designer: Elo Kiivet

Graphic design: Meelis Brikker

Team: Karl Feigenbaum, Indrek Grigor, Mare Joonsalu, Margus Joonsalu, Sten Ojavee, Julia Polujanenkova, Mari Roostik, Kristel Sibul, Peeter Talvistu, Tiiu Talvistu, Ago Teedema.

Thanks: Edwin Buijsen, Karl-Erik Hiiemaa, Juta Keevallik, Greta Koppel, Kamila Korbela, Triinu Palo, Peeter Kulasalu, Kristiina Kullus, Siim Lepik, Mai Levin, Kaisa Milsaar, Kadri Mägi, Tõnu Tamm, Joonas Vangonen, Adriaan Waiboer.

Supporter: Cultural Endowment of Estonia.


Addition information:

Nele Ambos

general conservator

588 17809


Kiwa’s solo exhibition “Self-Portrait as Unknown”

The retrospective solo exhibition of Kiwa in Tartmus brings together the artist’s different alter egos and interdisciplinary oevre,, brings together the artist’s different alter egos and interdisciplinary oeuvre, which extends to almost 20 years. His first solo exhibition was “Lollipop’s Fiction” in 1996 in Tartu, which is followed by over twenty solo and numerous participations of group exhibitions in Estonia and abroad.

The exhibition derives from the intention to focus on the artist’s image, which functions just as a separate artwork. Using media as a public board of notices and wall of scribblings, Kiwa’s persona can be seen as the result of an ongoing performance. In the centre of Kiwa’s image are a constant game with identities and the ongoing use of the death of the author with the aim of defeating his self-portrait and escaping the possibility of having an exhaustive position as an author.

The book “Self-Portrait with the Unknown” is published to accompany the exhibtion. It contains Kiwa’s autobiographical text on becoming an artist, insights into subcultural scenes from the 1980s, about manipulating with the media, etc. Also included are the bibliography of media graffiti and the analysis of Kiwa’s strategies of constructing his image, compiled and written by Marika Agu.

During the exhibition the museum shop provides the best selection of ;paranoia publishing group’s books and it is possible to buy 3D-printed souvenier of the exhibited sculpture “N400”. Technically demanding production processes and the exhibition design is created by the architect Sille Pihlak.

Curator: Marika Agu

Exhibition design: Sille Pihlak

Graphic design: Tuuli Aule

Exhibition installation: Arvi Kuld, Urmo Teekivi

Editors: Marika Agu, Kiwa

Authors of the texts: Marika Agu, Rael Artel, Kiwa

Language editors: Paul Emmet, Aare Pilv

Translators: Karl Erik Saks, Hele Priimets

Educational program: Kristel Sibul

Supporters: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, EDM LLC, Pelltech LLC, Science Centre Ahhaa, Silmani Elekter LTD

Thanks: Art Museum of Estonia, Karl Feigenbaum, Esta Frosch, Taavi Ilves, Laur Kivistik, Elvis Kollom, Jaanika Kuznetsova, Jaana Nõu, Sten Ojavee, Katrin Pilk, Peeter Talvistu, Elnara Taidre, Toomas Volkmann

Additional information:

Marika Agu

Curator of Contemporary Art

+372 588 17802