Visual art, art history and the history of knowledge

Portrait of art historian Leo Soonpää by Enn Põldroos, 1958, part of his thesis. Estonian Academy of Arts Museum.


The research theme has a two-fold focus. Firstly, art historiography and the diverse ways in which art history is presented: how art and its history have been written about in the past, including how knowledge of art has been created through exhibitions and curatorial practices. How different media (e.g. television) broaden the perceptual field of art history and how the means of expression of other art forms (e.g. film, fiction, etc.) contribute to this are explored. In addition to the history of art itself, the research also explores the relationship between art and architecture and other knowledge disciplines and the history of the environment. Studies cover a long period from the 19th to the 21st century. In connection with the research theme, interdisciplinary seminars and discussion groups are organised, and several exhibitions are curated in collaboration with other institutions.

Research projects connected to the theme:

Publishing the “History of Estonian Art” (1999-2025)

Art Historical Contact Zones (EKA Research Grant, 2023-2024)

Art or science (2021-2024)

Style and meaning: disciplinary conversions in Estonian art history (EKA Research Grant, 2021-2022)

Historicizing art: knowledge production in art history in Estonia amidst changing ideologies and disciplinary developments (PUT, 2015-2018)

Also loo at Kumu Art Museum exhibition “Art in the age of Anthropocene”

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Posted by Kris Haamer