The Institute of Art History and Visual Culture (in Estonian KVI) is the only research institute in art history (Kunstwissenschaft) in Estonia, and a leading one in the Baltic States, covering a wide range of fields of study, from the medieval period to contemporary art.  KVI is a member of the International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art, RIHA. The Institute was founded in 1992 as the Institute of Art History of the Tallinn Art University.

The Institute of Art History and Visual Culture serves both as a research and teaching institution, conducting major research projects in art history and providing education in all three academic levels.

The professors and faculty members in our Institute are top specialists in their fields and recognized experts; our graduates include Estonia’s leading younger generation curators, critics and art theoreticians. The Institute’s curriculum combines historical and object-centred approaches to art with excellent knowledge of theoretical viewpoints. Visual culture studies explore the pictorial and spatial environment, the connections between them, and their functioning society. The curriculum is supplemented by study trips and practical training.

The Institute’s MA programme offers three areas of specialization: Art History and Visual Culture StudiesMuseology or Curatorial Studies. The goal of the doctoral programme is to prepare high-level professionals who are able to work both as teaching or research staff members in the academic sphere and as top-level specialists outside it.

The aim of the Institute of Art History and Visual Culture is to offer a diverse, innovative and inspirational environment for study and research. Training in the speciality is supported by research conducted in the Institute, our research projects, conferences and publications.

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Watch our Vimeo channel and lectures on EKA TV.

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News and events

ESA Tallinn 2022

European Society for Aesthetics Annual Conference

The ESA Conference 2022 is to be held on 28–30 June 2022 at Estonian Academy of Arts (Põhja puiestee 7) in Tallinn.  The keynote speakers: Professor Emmanuel Alloa (University of Fribourg) Professor Pauline von Bonsdorff (University of Jyväskylä) Professor Virve Sarapik (Estonian Academy of Arts) Info
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Seminar „Likeness in Difference“ in EKA and Kumu

Seminar Likeness in Difference. Perspectives on Baltic Regional Art History  Location: Estonian Academy of Arts, Kumu Art Museum The working language at the seminar is English. The seminar jointly organised by Estonian Academy of Arts and the Art Museum of Estonia brings together art researchers and curators from the three Baltic countries. The art history of the Soviet period serves as the ...
Difficult Pasts

“Difficult Pasts. Connected Worlds” in Lithuanian National Gallery Rahvusgaleriis

Difficult Pasts. Connected Worlds With the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the past has returned in Eastern Europe, changing from something distant into a present-day disaster for millions of people. The invasion that started in 2014 with Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk was often dismissed by the international community, but it has now grown into a situation that is affecting the ...

Online discussion: Political emancipation of artistic practices in Ukraine

Online discussion “Political emancipation of artistic practices in Ukraine”  On 16 March at 18:00—20:00 EEST The discussion will be live streamed on Facebook. Join us for an online discussion, where artists, curators and researchers from Ukraine will talk about their works dealing with the entanglements of past and present, memory and cultural decolonization. Participants: Svitlana ...

EKA “Open Windows” 2022 Exhibition

The exhibition “Open Windows” will reopen on the windows of the Library of EKA on February 21, at 4 pm. Through the exhibition of EKA windows, different specialities of EKA introduce their most outstanding projects and the latest creations of students. The exhibition can be viewed on the windows of the EKA Library on Põhja pst and Kotzebue streets and will remain open until March 14. ...
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Estonian MA students in visual culture and its preservation regathered for a joint seminar

A transdisciplinary seminar bringing together MA students from Estonian universities dealing with art history, visual culture, curating, conservation, museum and archival studies was held for the second time (this first one was in fall 2019) on 10th–11th January 2022 in Purdi manor. Six Estonian university chairs were represented, the Estonian Academy of Arts by its curricula of Art ...
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Helena Tääker at Vent Space

The first solo exhibition of the artist Helena Tääker “Surgery of the Soul” will be opened in Vent Space on November 28 at 6 pm. The curator of the exhibition is Ketlin Käpp.  The exhibition reflects artist Helena Tääker’s self searching and vision of somatic experience in space. Tääker is fascinated by human body and its textures, approaching them through surrealistic viewpoint. The artist ...
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Dan Karlholm’s lecture “The Climate of Art History”

On November 25th at 5.30 pm, Dan Karlholm from Södertörn University will give a lecture “The Climate of Art History” at the Estonian Academy of Arts (room A-501). Drawing on Dipesh Chakrabarty’s classic essay “The Climate of History”, where he argues that world history and earth history must be seen as conjoined histories, the lecture discusses art history through the lens of climate change, ...