Institute of Art History and Visual Culture

The Institute of Art History and Visual Culture in Tallinn 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.

It was founded in 1992 as Institute of Art History of the Tallinn Art University (established in 1914). We renamed ourselves the Institute of Art History and Visual Culture in March 2016.

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 department are top specialists in their fields and recognized experts; our graduates include Estonia’s leading younger generation curators, critics and art theoreticians. The Institute of Art History and Visual Culture’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 BA programme is supplemented by study trips and practical training.

The institute’s MA programme offers three areas of specialization: Art History and Visual CultureMuseology or Curatorial Studies.

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

Ühisruumi otsides plakat

EKA MA students’ project workshop “Looking for a Common Space”

On Friday, 4th of September at 4 pm, the workshop “Looking for a Common Space” will open. Estonian Academy of Arts students are collectively in a search for a communal space where they can socialize, relax and get inspired. Various workshops will take place throughout a two week period and are open to all EKA students. The workshop poses the question, now that we all share a building again, ...
eesti kunsti ajalugu 4 kaas rgbsmall

Presenting: History of Estonian Art, volume 4: 1840–1900

The book launch of the newest volume from the series History of Estonian Art, Volume 4, covering the years 1840–1900, will take place at the Kadriorg Art Museum in Tallinn on June 17th, starting at 17:00. The editor of the volume is Juta Keevallik, the contributing authors are Tiina Abel, Jüri Hain, Karin Hallas-Murula, Lilian Hansar, Ants Hein, Juta Keevallik, Kaalu Kirme, Tiina-Mall Kreem, ...
David Vseviov2

David Vseviov named professor emeritus

On May 19th, the Senate of the Estonian Academy of Arts named professor David Vseviov professor emeritus, effective from September 1st, 2020. David Vseviov first joined the EAA teaching staff in 1986, working at the Institute of Art History and Visual Culture, where he was first named professor extraordinarius in 1997 and continued as professor since 2003. In addition to his research, mainly ...
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The Institute of Art History and Visual Culture offers more online content during the emergency

The Institute of Art History and Visual Culture updated their website in order to offer more online content and thus keep contributing to public discourse on art, architecture and design while the Institute’s usual activities aimed at the broader public are temporarily suspended due to the national emergency.  The new subsection of the website (currently available in Estonian only) contains ...
eesti kunsti ajalugu 4 kaas rgbsmall

Presenting: History of Estonian Art, volume 4: 1840–1900

The book launch of the newest volume from the series History of Estonian Art, Volume 4, covering the years 1840–1900, will take place at the Kadriorg Art Museum in Tallinn on March 17th, starting at 17:00. The editor of the volume is Juta Keevallik, the contributing authors are Tiina Abel, Jüri Hain, Karin Hallas-Murula, Lilian Hansar, Ants Hein, Juta Keevallik, Kaalu Kirme, Tiina-Mall Kreem, ...
“Remembering Difficult Knowledge in the Baltic Visual Culture” (MOBJD, 2019–2021)

“Remembering Difficult Knowledge in the Baltic Visual Culture” (MOBJD, 2019–2021)

This research program focuses on how difficult knowledge has been transmitted in the visual culture of the Baltic States, in works of visual art, documentary films and exhibitions about the Second World War and its aftermath. The analysis focuses on visual culture since the year 2000 and seeks to understand what happens with past violence and how it is transmitted through generations in the ...
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Institute of Art History and Visual Culture became a Member of RIHA

The International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art (RIHA) has accepted the Institute of Art History and Visual Culture as its new member in late 2019. RIHA was created in 1998 with objective to coordinate research and teaching of art history worldwide, to promote knowledge and scholarly exchange, to initiate joint events, and to publish its own journal. In its ...
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“Forecast and Fantasy in Late Soviet Architecture” (PUT, 2020–2023)

The research project “Forecast and Fantasy in Late Soviet Architecture” proposes to write a history of fantasy in Late-Soviet architecture, focusing on its mediating role in the transformative effects of postwar modernisation. From the 1960s onwards several architects realigned their work according to new technological discourses – including cybernetics and scientific forecasting – producing ...