Department 2017–2022

The History of the Accessories and Bookbinding Department

On 1 March 1917, a bookbinding and cardboard workshop was opened at the Tallinn Industrial Art School under the direction of Eduard Taska, who had mastered his professional skills in Tallinn, Paris, Munich, and St. Petersburg. The workshop was initially set up to teach soldiers injured in the war, but later regular teaching of decorative leatherwork was organised.

In 1944, the school became a higher education institution: the Tallinn State Applied Art Institute of the ESSR and the department was named the Leather Art Department.

From 1951 to 1989, the school was called the State Art Institute of the ESSR (ERKI, an acronym based on the Estonian-language name), the department was still called the Leather Art Department, later also the Leather Crafting Department.

In 1989–1996, the school was called the Tallinn Art University (TKÜ) and in 1994 we became the Leather Art Department.

In 1996, the school was renamed the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA).

In 2011, the school moved from its historic location on Tartu maantee to the temporary teaching building at Estonia puiestee 7.

The department remained the Leather Art Department until 2018. With the move to the new Kotzebue Street teaching building, the department’s name reflected the change in the curriculum, turning into the Accessories and Bookbinding Department.

From 2020, as a result of the structural reform of the EKA, the workshops were separated from the departments, resulting in the school having both the Accessories and Bookbinding Department and the Accessory Design and Binding Studio. The department is involved in curriculum and speciality development, while the studio serves both the speciality curricula and the entire EKA membership. In the beginning of 2022, the name of the department was shortened to the Accessories and Bookbinding Department.


Heads of the department:

Eduard Taska 1917–1925

Adele Reindorff 1925–1960

Ella Külv 1961–1980 

Ella Summatavet, professor 1981–1998

Illu Erma, professor 1998–2008 

Lennart Mänd, professor 2008–2020

Stella Runnel, visiting associate professor since 2020