Conferences and Seminars of the AME

Conferences and seminars form a part of the ongoing research work at the Art Museum of Estonia, and bring together experts from Estonia and abroad. On the one hand, conferences and seminars provide motivation to improve the current state of the topics related to the art museum and, on the other hand, to establish new goals. The Art Museum of Estonia has a set rhythm for its international conferences. In the first half of the year, the Kadriorg Art Museum’s spring conference takes place, and in the second half of the year, the Kumu Art Museum organises its autumn conference. In the interim, conferences are organised at the Niguliste Museum and the Adamson-Eric Museum, and seminars are conducted at the museum branches. The most important conference presentations related to research on the museum’s collections are published in the Proceedings of the Art Museum of Estonia.


Indifferent Things? Material and Ceremonial Church Practices in the 16th and 17th Centuries in the Baltic Sea Region
14–16 September 2017, Niguliste Museum

Conference in the Series “Homburger Gespräche” and the fifth conference in honour of Prof. Sten Karling (1906–1987)

Icon worship, the Catholic Church’s love of luxury, the grandeur of ceremonies and vestments and the sale of indulgences were among the most significant points of criticism by the Reformation movement. It was, however, only in 1548 that a more serious dispute over adiaphora or Mitteldinge started in the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation; the attitude of the evangelical church towards “indifferent things” was ultimately formulated in the Konkordiaformel in 1570. The confessional and institutional regulations and the actual practices of congregations often differed substantially. Naturally, the two were interdependent, and it seems, therefore, productive to study the material and art history of the Lutheran Church of the early modern period through the relationship and mutual effects of the norms and their executors: pastors, members of congregation, artists etc. At the same time, the secular world, though seemingly outside the ecclesiastical life and practices, cannot be overlooked, together with its connections to power and money. We will, therefore, proceed from the view that in order to comprehend the Lutheran Church of the early modern period, it must be studied as a complex phenomenon, influenced by a number of factors, including material objects. Also, we are interested in whether something that can be referred to as “regional practices” existed, and will, therefore, focus on a particular historical area, the evangelical territories of the Baltic Sea region.

The working language of the conference is English.

Programme committee:
Prof. Krista Kodres, PhD, Estonian Academy of Arts
Dr. Anu Mänd, Tallinn University
Merike Kurisoo, Art Museum of Estonia
Prof. Gerhard Weilandt, PhD, Universität Greifswald
Dr. Janis Kreslins, National Library of Sweden

Hosting institutions:
Art Museum of Estonia – Niguliste Museum
Estonian Academy of Arts – Institute of Art History and Visual Culture
Tallinn University – Institute of History, Archaeology and Art History
M.C.A. Böckler – Mare Balticum-Stiftung