The fields of research pursued by the Art Museum of Estonia are based on its collections, with subjects ranging from medieval to contemporary art.
The research work carried out unites all five branches of the Art Museum of Estonia.
Recently, we have concentrated on areas and international research projects on ecclesiastical art, foreign art from the 16th to the 19th centuries and Baltic art from the 20th and 21st centuries, with a focus on the art of the Soviet era, as well as the visual culture of the 1990s and archival research.
Art in the Baltic States During the Soviet Period: Regional Characteristics and Defining Interactions (2021–2025)
The aim of the research programme is to provide new contexts and perspectives for the study of the Estonian art of the Soviet period, setting it within the broader context of the art of the Baltic states, a region located at the crossroads of different cultural and geopolitical influences. As one of its outcomes, the programme could increase the number of cooperative research and exhibition projects between the three Baltic states, opening up new dimensions of meaning in Baltic art and inviting a closer look at its specific characteristics.
The programme centres around the critical study of and reflection on the practices and representations in the creation of meaning in the Soviet-era art of the Baltic region. This, however, does not imply a narrow focus on only the art and art history of the three Baltic states; rather, Baltic art is placed in relation to “outside” processes, ideas and approaches arising in the art, society or culture of other parts of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the West or elsewhere in the world.
The programme is divided into three main areas:
- new media and materials defining the artist’s position
- women artists in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe
- interactions transcending time and region
The following researchers from the Art Museum of Estonia are involved in the research programme: Sirje Helme (PhD), Liisa Kaljula (PhD), Eha Komissarov, Madli Mihkelson, Elnara Taidre (PhD), Triin Tulgiste, Eda Tuulberg and Karin Vicente.
Coordinator of the research programme: Eda Tuulberg
Research and exhibition projects in progress:
- Thinking Pictures, curated by Anu Allas and Liisa Kaljula (the exhibition is accompanied by a research book edited by Anu Allas)
- A Present-Day Look at Graphic Art by Women Artists of the Soviet Period [working title], curated by Maria Arusoo, Eha Komissarov and Eda Tuulberg (the exhibition is accompanied by a research book)
- Transavantgarde [working title], curated by Sirje Helme and Fabio Cavallucci
- Malle Leis, Maija Tabaka and Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė [working title], curated by Anu Allas