Open Wed-Sun 11.00-18.00 / 17 Lai Street Tallinn, 10133 Estonia


PRESS RELEASE 28.10.2005
The exhibition „Archives: the exhibitions of the Museum of Applied Art 1982-2004“ will be opened on 28 October at 17:00

On 18 July 1980, a new branch museum of the Estonian Art Museum – the Museum of Applied Art - opened its doors in a former granary building on the Lai street. Decades of profound preparations resulted in the modern exhibition venue and a respectable permanent display, enabling new perspectives for future action. Estonian applied art, the representative of our national culture for decades, was finally granted with a museum of its own. In the year of 2000, the museum widened its activity to the realm of design, and a design collection was established beside the applied art collection. Therefore, it is since 2004 that the museum has been bearing the compound name of Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design. Together with the changed name, also the status of the museum underwent some changes – the branch of Estonian Art Museum became an independent state museum.
The overview exhibition “Archives” is a substantial retrospective of the exhibitions organized at the museum throughout its 25 years of existence. Upon compiling the exhibition the exhibition passports preserved at the museum were used, which uphold all the possible information about the exhibitions held: overview photos, exposition list, poster, invitation, wallboard texts, reviews, statistics, and other data. In the course of time, the exhibition passports have turned into a kind of information bank that has proved necessary not only for the museum to record its history, but also for numerous art researchers. The design of the “Archives” does not reconstruct the exhibition designs of the bygones; the selected items serve to document only the exhibitions displaying the objects from the Estonian Applied Art and Design collection, and the photo materials provide a comprehensive overview of other events occurred. For obvious reasons, there is no documentation by items from foreign exhibitions or the exhibitions of foreign and historical art of the time compiled from the collections of Estonian Art Museum.
The lively exhibition activities began in the museum in 1982. From that time up to now, there have been 182 exhibitions at the museum. The interest for our exhibitions has been significant, altogether the exhibitions have been visited by 645 286 guests.
It has certainly been an intentional choice that the lion’s share of the exhibitions has been focused on Estonian art. Overviews of the wider context of the period (“The Sixties in Estonian Applied Art”, 1991), thematic exhibitions (“Hot Drinks”, 1996; “Frost: Winter Sports and Design”, 2002), introduction displays (“Faience and Porcelain in the Collections of Estonian Art Museums”, 1982), overviews of the applied art varieties (“Engraving in Estonian Glass Art”, 1990; „Komeback”, 1998) and, of course, personal exhibitions have been the output of the museum’s policy. The exhibition series ”The Classics” started in 2000 (Elgi Reemets, 2000) and is devoted to the outstanding masters of extraordinary importance for Estonian art. A new page was turned in the history of exhibitions in the 1990s, when the museum began to introduce the international art persistently, although the first international exhibitions were held already in the 1980s (German Glass Art, 1984), initiating a continuous cooperation with the specialty museums of the Nordic countries. Thereby several exhibitions introducing the design classics arrived in Estonia (“Finnish Form”, 1989; “Eye, Hand, Thought: the Retrospective of Tapio Wirkkala”, 2001), leading to the museum’s visitor records of all times – “Finnish Glass” exhibition held in 1987 was visited by 21 889 people in 7 weeks. In addition to the contacts between museums, the connections with several cultural institutions emerged, broadening the list of exhibitions even more (“Swiss Contemporary Textile Art”, 1990; “Spectaculum: Plastic Jewellery”, 2000). Also various international projects (“Expression of Mind”, 1999; “Fabula: The Ceramics of Nordic and Baltic Countries”, 2001; “3+3 Dimensions: Finnish-Estonian Glass Art”, 2000) found their place enriching not only the visitor, but the organizer as well. The museum has hosted many respectable travelling exhibitions (“American Glass”, 1990; “Jewellery and Diplomacy”, 1999).
The exhibition curators are all the museum collection holders: Kai Lobjakas, Airi Ligi, Anne Tiivel, Merike Alber, who have also been the compilers for many of the exhibitions mentioned.
Designed by Ketli Tiitsar. 

Press release compiled and further information: 
Merike Alber
Tel. +372 627 4608

« Back