Published 13/02/2024 | 10:23

Kumu Art Museum celebrates its 18th birthday with a festival of guided tours

The photo shows the opening of the exhibition “melanie bonajo: When the body says Yes+”. Photo: Joosep Kivimäe

To celebrate its birthday, the Kumu Art Museum invites everybody to a festival of guided tours on 17 and 18 February, consisting of eighteen events in various formats. During the birthday weekend, museum visitors can take part in various guided tours, workshops, discussions and individual journeys of exploration.

According to the director of the Kumu Art Museum, Kadi Polli, Kumu is in the best shape ever. “In 2023, we had a record number of visitors and offered powerful exhibitions which won both a Museum Award and an Annual Award from the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. The new year promises excellent international collaborations, taking Estonian art abroad, as well as offering many intriguing projects at home. Kumu continues with themes that are inclusive, tolerant and sustainable. This is also the basis for this year’s birthday programme,” explained Kadi Polli.

Kumu’s birthday begins with a discussion between the curators Anu Allas, Maria Arusoo, Sirje Helme and Kadi Polli on 15 February, and a tour of Kumu’s architecture on 16 February with the architect Mihkel Karu.

On Saturday, 17 February the birthday programme focuses on feminist viewpoints, corporeality, gender identity and the depiction of women in art. Thematic tours take a look at the permanent exhibitions. Guided tours are offered by Kadi Polli at the exhibition “Landscapes of Identity: Estonian Art 1700–1945” and by Maria Arusoo at the exhibition “melanie bonajo: When the body says Yes+”. We also offer Rene Köster’s movement workshop “Queerness in Movement” and the Estonian LGBT Association’s panel discussion “Coming Out Stories”.

On Sunday, 18 February all art lovers are welcome to Sirje Helme’s curatorial tour of the exhibition “Borderless Universe in Their Minds: Italian Transavantgarde and Estonian Calm Expressionism” and the short introductory workshop “Getting to Know Art”. Families can visit the exhibition “Unframed: Leis, Tabaka, Rožanskaitė” with the help of the exhibition tour “Red Horses”, containing creative activities.

On 17 and 18 February, visitors can use the seven euro birthday ticket to access all events taking place on the same day. During the birthday week, from 12 to 18 February, numerous special offers are also available in the Kumu museum shop.

A more detailed schedule and additional information is available on the museum’s website and on Facebook.

2023 was extraordinary for the Kumu Art Museum. During the year, six temporary exhibitions and five exhibitions in the project space opened. The exhibition “Art in the Age of the Anthropocene” was named the best exhibition of 2023 at the Estonian Museum Annual Awards. In parallel with the exhibition, the museum prepared a model for sustainable exhibitions, which allows museums and other exhibition institutions to assess the environmental impacts of their shows and to create more sustainable programmes. The exhibition “Through the Black Gorge of Your Eyes” won one of the annual awards of the Visual and Applied Arts Endowment of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

The exhibition “teamLab: Impermanent Flowers Floating in a Continuous Sea” achieved a new record for the number of visitors to a temporary exhibition at the Kumu Art Museum and to the Art Museum of Estonia in general: over the course of half a year, the exhibition was visited 95,000 times. In total, the Kumu Art Museum was visited by 170,000 friends of art during the last year.