On 25 May, the Tartu Art Museum opens the exhibition “Pallas 100. The Art School and Its Legend”, introducing the oeuvre of the students and teachers of the school. The exhibition takes place on all three floors of the museum and offers both well-known masterworks of Estonian art and a lot that is novel and interesting.

“We have selected works from the true stars of Estonian art history, including Konrad Mägi, Eduard Wiiralt and Karin Luts. At the same time, works from less known authors, works that have been forgotten and jewels not seen for a while are included,” the exhibition curator Hanna-Liis Kont explains. “We will tell the story of the Pallas Art School from different viewpoints. A separate focus is on female artists, socio-critical themes in Pallas art, the methods of teaching and the social life of the students.”

The Tartu Art Museum is only a stone’s throw away from Lossi street, where on 1 October 1919 the school that would soon become the first institution to offer higher art education in Estonia opened. Pallas marked the establishment of European artistic innovations in Estonian art that over the 25 years of its operation permanently changed the local culture. The works of the teachers and students of the school form one of the cornerstones of the Estonian artistic heritage.

The subtitle of the exhibition, “The Art School and Its Legend”, indicates our desire to also look at how the image of the art school has developed and what the word “Pallas” symbolises today for different people in Estonian art and culture. The exhibition includes impressions from 16 representatives of Estonian art life in various roles about the image of Pallas. Among the interviewees are the artist Kaido Ole, the art collector Enn Kunila, the gallerist Tiia Karelson and many others.

The exhibition “Pallas 100. The Art School and Its Legend” is accompanied by a richly illustrated publication of the same title. The texts are written by the exhibition curators Joanna Hoffmann and Hanna-Liis Kont, the art historians Tiina Abel, Eha Komissarov and Tiiu Talvistu and the historian Ago Pajur.

The exhibition “Pallas 100. The Art School and Its Legend” will remain open until 27 October 2019.

  • Curators: Joanna Hoffmann and Hanna-Liis Kont
  • Graphic design: Valter Jakovski
  • Exhibition design: Kaisa Sööt
  • Co-ordinator: Kristlyn Liier
  • Consultants: Eha Komissarov, Anna Škodenko and Tiiu Talvistu
  • Works are from the Art Museum of Estonia, Tartu Art Museum, Under and Tuglas Literature Centre, Virumaa Museums, Tallinn City Museum, Narva Museum, Tartu City Museum and private collections.