Exhibitions

Exhibitions of the works from the Methodological Fund have been organised throughout the history of the higher education institution, mostly in the school’s premises. Currently, the EAAM does not have a separate exhibition space. Once a year, an exhibition is held at the EKA Gallery. Different levels of the EKA atrium have also been used as exhibition spaces. Approximately fifty works can be seen daily as a so-called scattered permanent exhibition in the public areas and offices of EKA.

Chamotte gardenvase for a weekend house: 100 Years of design assignments

Exhibition of the Ceramics Department and Museum of the Estonian Academy of Arts.
The main material in ceramics, clay, has formed over the course of millions of years,
and the oldest clay artefacts date back thousands of years. In comparison, the one
hundred year history of the Ceramics Department at the Estonian Academy of Arts
(EKA) is merely the blink of an eye. Our professional ceramics training, which began
in 1923 at the State School of Arts and Crafts, EKA’s predecessor, is almost as old
as the Republic of Estonia. The discipline, which was narrowly classified as applied
art in the past, has undergone a significant transformation over this period of time
and has now assumed its place on a much broader scale of arts.
The commemorative ceramics exhibition has been compiled from student works
stored in the Methodological Fund of the Ceramics Department, now the EKA
Museum. Some works at the exhibition have also been borrowed from the artists.
Despite certain gaps in the collection, the exhibition still provides a comprehensive
overview of the history of ceramics throughout the century. We can see the
influences of the first head of department, Hungarian Geza Jako, as well as national
self-searching, inspirations from different art styles of the era and the blurring of
boundaries between applied and liberal arts. The ceramics collection is not deemed
final, as it is constantly being supplemented with older works as well as new student
projects, both at the initiative of the museum and the department.
The title of the exhibition, Chamotte garden vase for a weekend house, comes from
the name of a design assignment from the 1960s, of which only a draft is displayed in
the exhibition. Although the ceramics department has also designed large-scale
items over the years from fireplaces and fountains to panels, only a few of them were
realised and they are not on show in this exhibition. Instead, a selection of designs is
exhibited, many of which act as independent works of art. Several of them are also
paired with physical objects in showcases. The ceramic works are divided into five
major subcategories at the exhibition, offering one possible perspective: vessels,
figures, vases, sets and plays with form, which tell their own story and enter into a
dialogue with their neighbours. The booklet accompanying the exhibition will also
include a more in-depth introduction of the selected works by the artists or curators.

Meeting the Alphabet Book’s Rooster

In the EKA Library, you can now see the exhibition “Meeting the Alphabet Book’s Rooster” marking the beginning of the academic year. Curated by the EKA Museum, this exhibition radiates with the brilliance of watercolour technique in Ülle Meister’s truly masterful diploma work, showcasing the illustrations from the year 1973 for the Estonian Alphabet book.

On August 27th, Ülle Meister (1948–2021) would have celebrated her 75th birthday, and this exhibition pays homage to the anniversary. The late artist favoured watercolour as her medium during her university years, and she remained loyal to it throughout her lifetime. Ülle Meister’s illustrated alphabet book (1974, L. Eisen) remained in use in schools until the 1980s and still evokes nostalgia and delightful recognition today. Meister’s work stands out not only for its exceptional technical finesse but also for its unique portrayal of the lifestyle of the era. The novel stylization of the 70s era fashion worn by the children and contemporary interiors adorned with trendy large-patterned textiles catch the eye. And of course, the school uniforms of the time and iconic toys of the late soviet period such as the tin bucket and shovel or beloved blue-striped Sipsik doll, all capture the essence of the period. The masterful watercolorist’s vivid brush strokes, seamlessly merging into one another, bring an immediate sense of joy to the viewer.

A Child Thing: Children’s designs by students at EKA

The exhibition A Child Thing: Children’s designs by students at EKA (2022) held at the EKA Gallery covered almost a century, starting from the well-known rooster illustration for the ABC book from the time of the State School of Arts and Crafts and ending with interactive objects from the last decade. The exhibition was largely based on the historical collection of the EAAM. Numerous established fashion, textile and leather artists, ceramicists, designers and interior architects in Estonia have worked with children’s designs during their student years. Besides the practical world of design, the exhibition also presents book illustrations, theatre costumes and animations from the realm of fairy tales that help stimulate the imagination of children. At the Estonian Academy of Arts, the topic of children has received more attention since the 1970s. From the aesthetic utility objects of the 20th century, we are increasingly moving towards solutions that engage children and develop their creativity.

Scattered permanent exhibition

The scattered permanent exhibition of the EAAM is a site-specific phenomenon, where the geometry of the rooms, lighting and also the atmosphere have been considered in the selection and placement of the works, as well as the preferences of the people working in these spaces. The goal has been to improve the working and learning environment as well as to introduce the cultural heritage of the academy to the public. Oil paintings, sgraffiti, frescoes, sculptures and stained glass works completed at different times connect the history of the former Tartu Road building with the new building designed by KUU Architects into a single whole. The plan of the scattered permanent exhibition can be found here.

Invisible Monumental Painting

The 2020 exhibition Invisible Monumental Painting presented the EAAM’s exciting collection of monumental painting designs from 1962–1995, which includes conceptual designs for frescoes, sgraffiti, mosaics and stained glass. In order to highlight the technical singularity of monumental painting, 12 completed works were displayed at the exhibition. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition contains a historical overview of the teaching of monumental art at EKA and lists with images: the list of the exhibited items and also the list of monumental paintings completed in public spaces. Issues related to the field were reflected on in a discussion group of artists from different generations.

Photo: Stanislav Stepaško

ERR. EKA muuseumi kuraator: monumentaalkunstis on materjal kõige olulisem

Sirp. Nähtamatu monumentaalmaal on saanud nähtavamaks

Estonian Academy of Arts 105

The exhibition From the Beginning to Today: 1+1  was an important part of the 105th anniversary programme of EKA. Each discipline taught at the Academy of Arts was represented by two works: one from the early days of the school and the other from the present time. The selected works demonstrated the connection between several creative generations at the academy and the changes that have taken place in art.

Photo: Patrik Tamm

Kuku raadio intervjuu. Reeli Kõiv – EKA 105 ja näitus Algusaegadest tänasesse

Eesti Päevaleht. EKA muuseumis on hoiul Eesti kunstiajaloo tundmatud aarded

Restless “Morning”

The first exhibition of the EAAM, Restless “Morning” was completed as a collaborative project with the Department of Cultural Heritage and Conservation in 2019. The central theme of the exhibition was Dolores Hoffmann’s graduation project in fresco technique from 1962/1963 and the department’s mission to rescue part of the fresco in the former Rahu Cinema in Kopli before the demolition of the building. At the exhibition, the destroyed parts of the 74 square metre monumental work were exhibited virtually, displaying the saved pieces that had reached the museum’s collection in real life as part of the installation.

Exhibition team: Hilkka Hiiop, Frank Lukk, Taavi Tiidor, Varje Õunapuu, Andres Uueni, Maris Veeremäe, Reeli Kõiv and Anneli Randla

Photo: Ainar Luik

A Hundred Years of Art Education in Tallinn

„100 aastat kunstiharidust Tallinnas“ 2014/2015 aastal Kumus

The largest and most prominent exhibition to date, which was largely based on EKA’s art collection, was A Hundred Years of Art Education in Tallinn (curator Mart Kalm) in Kumu art museum in 2014/2015, organised to celebrate the centennial of EKA.