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.

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

Watch our Vimeo channel and lectures on EKA TV.

2016_01_Tamm_KJ (2)

News and events

Farocki_Still 2

Who Builds Your Architecture? Workshops, film and open lecture 22. – 25. May

Who Builds Your Architecture? Workshops, film and open lecture 22.–25. May 2023 in EKA In the last week of May, exciting international experts will come to EKA to create a discussion on architecture and construction: Kadambari Baxi, Klaus Platzgummer and Lennart Wolff. Kadambari Baxi, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York (https://www.kbaxi.net): architect and educator ...

Film Screening: Zum Vergleich. Harun Farocki, 2009

Film Screening Title: Zum Vergleich / In Comparison  Harun Farocki (2009) x  Project Presentation Building Information: Kadambari Baxi, Klaus Platzgummer, Lennart Wolff (2022-) Description Bricks are the resonating foundations of society. Bricks are simply very long-playing records. Like records, they appear in series, but every brick is slightly different – not just another brick in ...

“Art Historical Contact Zones” (EKA Research Grant, 2023–2024)

The project “Art Historical Contact Zones: Popular and Fictional Mediations of Art History in Estonia” explores the relationship between art history and the public sphere – the non-academic forms that art writing can take: various fiction and film genres, popular contributions in mass media, correspondence, visual narratives, etc. These encounters take place in what we call an art historical ...

War on Monuments: Debates over Russian/Soviet Heritage in Eastern and Central Europe since 2022

Online roundtable Since February 2022, many Russian Imperial and Soviet statues and symbols have been removed from public space, accompanied by heated discussions in the local (social) media. The nature of the actions varies, but in several countries political rather than expert decisions have been the guiding force, with an immediate effect on the actual monuments of art, architecture and ...
Уличная выставка в Харькове, 1963, из архива Ирины Бахчанян

Exhibition Histories and the Roles of Documentation: Writing Ukrainian Art History from Scratch

This event will bring together current research on writing Ukrainian art history of the 20th century from scratch, since an art historical canon has not yet been produced for this period. Focusing on the Soviet and post-soviet eras, art historians Lizaveta German, Olga Balashova and Svitlana Biedarieva will present their ongoing research and reflect on how museums, exhibitions and artists ...

Third Estonian art historians’ joint MA seminar in Purdi

On 9th–10th January 2023 a seminar bringing together MA students from Estonian universities who work on art history, visual culture, curating, conservation, museum studies and museum education was held in Purdi manor. This was the third one in the series (after 2019 and 2022), with the aim of discussing each other’s topics from multiple perspectives. 40 students and leading staff members from ...

Seminar ‘Arts, Crafts, Affects’

Public seminar Arts, Crafts, Affects: Documenting HerStories and Worldbuilding at Estonian Academy of Arts and workshop by #FramedinBelarus Participants: #FramedinBelarus (Rufina Bazlova and Sofia Tocar), Katrin Mayer, Mare Tralla Discussant: Katrin Kivimaa Organized by Margaret Tali (Estonian Academy of Arts) & Ulrike Gerhardt (University of Potsdam) Pre-registration is required. Please ...

Learning art/design/architecture in 2045 would feel like…?

Dear students/teachers/academics in EKA – what will teaching/learning look like in 2045? Come to participate in labs that ponder these questions through creating “future-archives”! Labs are happening: 27th of October, Thursday, 2 pm – 6 pm (B-205) 28th of October, Friday, 10 am – 2 pm (B-305) Both labs have the same structure so you can choose which date suits you better! Guest ...