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. 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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News and events

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EKA Students on Viljandi Koidu Culture house stage

From the 4th to the 6th of June,  Contemporary Art master students of Estonian Academy of Arts will have an exhibition titled “Second Act” in Viljandi, together with dance students from Viljandi Culture Academy.   “Second Act” is an art event, where young artists from Estonia and Europe, as well as from Asia, will fill one old stage with artworks. The exhibition will tell us a story of an ...

Cultural Policies of the Transition Era. Conference from the series “Studies in Contemporary Culture”

The 15th conference from the series “Studies in Contemporary Culture” is dedicated to analyzing the cultural policies of the transition era (~1986–1998) in Estonia. The conference is organized by the Research Group of Contemporary Estonian Culture (EKA, TLÜ, TÜ) and the Estonian Writers’ Union. The conference is supported by the Estonian Research Council (grant PRG636), the ...

Exhibition “In Isolation” at the Tartu Art Museum

On 15 May, the exhibition “In Isolation”, curated by the master’s students of the Estonian Academy of Arts, will open in the Tartu Art Museum. It uses the motif of looking out of a window to examine the isolation experienced in different eras and in different locations. The exhibition brings together the internationally renowned artist Ilya Kabakov and the oeuvre of the Estonian classic ...

Dear student, a grand ambitious cooperation project is waiting for you!

Come on, let’s make mobility more convenient! EKA will start mapping in autumn how the university interacts with Erasmus students as part of the Transform4Europe project. We want to understand how convenient it is to go to another school to find accommodation and get a student card with the necessary access. This is a joint project with universities: Saarland University (Germany), The ...
Kunstiteaduslikke Uurimusi

“Studies on Art and Architecture” 2020, ed 29/3-4 is out

The recent issue of Studies on Art and Architecture explores the pictorial experience. The special issue „Depiction: Contemporary Studies on Pictorial Representation“ is a collection of articles on pictorial experience. It has been edited by Regina-Nino Mion, a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Art History and Visual Culture. The research articles from different philosophical ...

“Style and Meaning: Disciplinary Conversions in Estonian Art History” (EKA Research Grant, 2021–2022)

The purpose of the project is to concentrate on the critical concepts in Estonian art history, their role in the vocabulary and meaning making within the field over the course of the two last centuries. Our focus is on the concept of style that has not been analysed from a critical historiographical perspective in local research, and its ideological, period- or genre-specific etc. meanings. ...

Ingrid Ruudi “Spaces of the Interregnum. Transformations in Estonian Architecture and Art, 1986–1994” (Dissertationes 31)

Ingrid Ruudi, PhD student of the Estonian Academy of Arts, curriculum of Art History and Visual Culture, defended her thesis Spaces of the Interregnum. Transformations in Estonian Architecture and Art, 1986–1994 („Ruumiline interreegnum. Muutused Eesti arhitektuuris ja kunstis 1986–1994“) on the 18th of December 2020. Conventionally, the Estonian architecture history tends to address the late ...

Kristina Jõekalda “German Monuments in the Baltic Heimat? A Historiography of Heritage in the “Long Nineteenth Century”” (Dissertationes 30)

Kristina Jõekalda defended her thesis "German Monuments in the Baltic Heimat? A Historiography of Heritage in the "Long Nineteenth Century"" in the curriculum of Art History and Visual Culture on the 20th of November 2020. In Estonian humanities the Baltic Germans (Deutschbalten) are mostly addressed as a historical phenomenon, despite the fact that the architecture that they left behind from ...