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PRESS RELEASE 20.06.2006

This permanent exhibition is a survey of Estonian applied art and—for the first time—the development of design. These are areas that have at times been closely intertwined, in both the Estonian context and in a broader sense.
Applied art took shape as a professional cultural field in the 1920s and 1930s. It arose from the Estonian peasant culture and Baltic German handicrafts in connection with the rise of national consciousness and blazed a path for itself, achieving success both at home and abroad.

The previous Patterns of Time permanent exhibition was structured chronologically and made distinctions between fields. This exhibition, on the other hand, profiles developments that are important from the standpoint of the history of Estonian applied art. The exhibition presents the history of applied art in Estonia, focusing on the Art Industry School era, which laid a solid foundation for the art; the Stalinist period, which decreed compulsory art techniques; the industrialization of art; the heyday of themes from nature; the expression of national sentiments, all the way up to the latest trends. But the qualities of classic applied art also remain important: the broad scope and mastery of the application of various materials and techniques, and the ideas.

Estonian applied art began to be collected in an active, systematic manner in the mid-1950s and for a long time, the focus lay on unique handcrafted work. In 2000, a design collection began to be created in order to preserve a record of examples of Estonian product design. The museum collection was thus for the most part assembled in the late 20th century.

As in the case of any historical overview, much is based on what one or another exhibition seemed to be at the time that it is treated. The multifaceted nature of applied art and design is like a crossword puzzle with no single perfect solution. Time states its conditions and brings out a number of things that it later casts aside or does away with entirely. The patterns remain in flux.

The exhibit has a color scheme that makes it easier to orient in the exhibition.

The permanent exhibition was put together by the curators of the museum collection.
Designed by Urmas Luure and Terje Kallast. 

The exhibition was made possible by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

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