NewsPRESS RELEASE 05.09.2014
ESTONIAN DESIGN. INDUSTRIAL TEXTILE
This exhibition aims to highlight an aspect of the Estonian textilesindustry that until now has not been presented to the public and is therefore not well known - to show the work of artists that worked in factories, mostly anonymously, as well as their designs and the opportunities and processes that influenced this field.
The exhibition is part of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design’s project to map and introduce phenomena and expressions related to Estonian design.
The textiles industry in Estonia has had an influential and comprehensive position through the ages. As with industry in general, so also the textiles industry has played an important role in the urbanisation of Estonia. In the 19th century, many wool, cotton and flax businesses were established and by the 20th century the textiles industry had grown into one of the largest industries and employers in Estonia.
It was also the largest industry in the 1980s, and contributed one quarter of all industrial production, employing approximately 40,000 people. By the beginning of the 21st century, these figures had reduced by half; the textiles industry also exists today although it is much changed from the past.
An important output for the earlier textiles enterprises was the clothing and furniture industry. The current exhibition has deliberately ignored these two fields, since these are extensive individual chapters in the history of Estonian design and light-industry. Together with handicraft-based industrial factories, they deserve a separate and more thorough treatment in the future.
This exhibition includes material from many other museums and private collections in addition to that of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design.
We are very grateful to all our collaborators — the Estonian History Museum, Tallinn City Museum, Tartu City Museum, Sindi Museum, Pärnu Museum and the many individuals who have helped find and share material. We are also very grateful to the artists who were willing to share their experience and offer their own private materials for the exhibition.
Exhibition team: compiled by KAI LOBJAKAS and MARE KELPMAN with HELEN ADAMSON, exhibition design “3+1 ARCHITECTS”, graphic design TUULI AULE, technicians TOOMAS ÜBNER, RAIVO RANDLEPP.
The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Mistra-Autex.