One of the main assignments of the Adamson-Eric Museum is to collect the work of Adamson-Eric, one of the most multifaceted artists in the history of Estonian art. Currently, there are over 1,500 items in the museum’s main collection, which are divided between a painting collection and applied arts collection. The latter collection includes textiles, ceramics, porcelain, decorative leatherwork, furniture, jewellery and metal art, as well as paintings on glazed tiles. In addition, there are sketches and documentary photo materials.
The foundation for the museum was laid by Adamson-Eric’s widow, the well-known Estonian textile artist Mari Adamson, when she made a monumental gift of more than 800 works of art to the museum in 1983. Since then, thanks to acquisitions and mission-minded donors, the collection at the Adamson-Eric Museum has grown almost by half. In addition to Mari Adamson, the larger donors were the pianist Lilian Semper, who was Adamson-Eric’s niece, Helge and Bruno Laan and Mallis Looy from the U.S., Urve Manitski, Kristina Ingel and Ingmar Wendschlag from Sweden, and many others.
A great challenge when working with the Adamson-Eric Collection has been mapping the artist’s body of work, which is scattered throughout private collections around the world. As a result of this investigation and systematic acquisitions, the museum’s collection now provides a very good overview of the artist’s entire creative legacy between 1924 and 1968.