Men with Hats

Curator: Tiiu Talvistu

The exhibition „Men with Hats“ offers a dialogue with the exhibition on the third floor of the museum „White Tank Topp“ giving a glimpse to the world of men with hats.

With the rapid urbanisation in Estonia which began in the last century comes the Estonian cultural wanderer, flâneur. It is the observer of the modern time’s life theatre who oversees everything as a bystander  sitting whether at the table in a cosy cafe or walking down the city streets. Artists who are coming back home from European cultural centres are those who are capturing our emerging city life. Gentelmanly accessories such as hats in apparel are appearing in their still-lifes.

One of the most elegant urban life portrayers in Estonian art is Ado Vabbe. In his famous painting ˮIn the Cafeˮ (1918) there is a man sitting at a table looking at the world from under the brim of his hat. In his scenes painted in different eras the depiction and surrondings change but the gentelmanly characteristic is still the hat. Some moments with men and hats have been captured by Karl Pärsimägi, Elmar Kits, Jaan Vahtra, Eduard Ole, Rudolf Sepp. Kaljo Põllu’s and Jüri Palm’s hat wearers bring a completely different shade to the topic. From them radiates something anxious, almost sinister, behind the glare of these heroes with hats one can feel existential angst.