Publications by Kadriorg Art Museum 2018

Mai Levin. Alguses olid … Köler ja Weizenberg
[In the Beginning There Were … Köler and Weizenberg]

Written by Mai Levin
Edited by Aleksandra Murre and Kerttu Männiste
Graphic design and image editing by Tuuli Aule
96 pp.
In Estonian, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kadriorg Art Museum
Tallinn 2018
ISBN 978-9949-485-92-5

The book accompanies the exhibition In the Beginning There Were … Köler and Weizenberg at the Kadriorg Art Museum (07.12.2018–26.05.2019). An exhibition of the works of Johann Köler (1826–1899) and August Weizenberg (1837–1921), the founders of Estonian professional national art, will take place during the centenary of the Republic of Estonia and on the threshold of the centenary of the Art Museum of Estonia. These great masters contributed to the birth of independent Estonia with their art, as well as with their participation in the national movement.
During his lifetime, only a few of Köler’s works were seen in his homeland. However, Weizenberg’s works were seen by the local public earlier and in greater numbers. Studying at various art academies – Köler in St Petersburg and Weizenberg in Berlin, St Petersburg and Munich – they embraced the artistic ideals that they would remain faithful to for the rest of their careers. As a result, they were criticised in the early 20th century by the new generation of innovative artists. The assessments of art historians regarding academic art have become more objective as time has gone by, and its development has started to be viewed in relation to more innovative trends. Thus the assessment of Weizenberg’s and Köler’s oeuvre also needs to be updated, although their high professional level and importance for Estonian artistic culture have long been recognised. Rightfully, the Estonianism of both masters’ works is especially respected. However, patriotism is not determined by either the subject or the style of art. From that perspective, it is very significant that Köler painted his works in Rome and Paris, and that Shakespeare’s characters fascinated Weizenberg. From the viewpoint of national art, it is important that right from the beginning we had artists who were citizens of the world.

Aivazovski. In Pursuit of the Ideal

Edited by Aleksandra Murre
Texts by Alar Nurkse, Aleksandra Murre, Grigori Goldovski, Ksenija Rudzīte and Olga Kaparulina
Designed by Stuudio Stuudio
Image editing: Kätlin Tischler, Külli Kaats
144 pp.
In Estonian, English and Russian, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Kadriorg Art Museum
Tallinn 2018
ISBN 978-9949-485-77-2

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The book accompanies the exhibition Aivazovsky. In Pursuit of the Ideal at the Kadriorg Art Museum (10.03.–08.07.2018). The exhibition introduces the works of Ivan Aivazovsky, a representative of Russian Romantic Academicism, to the Estonian public for the first time. The 200th anniversary of the artist’s birth was celebrated in 2017 and exhibitions of his work were organised in many large museums. The focus of this exhibition is Aivazovsky’s large-scale painting View of Mount Vesuvius a Day Before the Volcanic Eruption, which is part of the Art Museum of Estonia’s collection. This painting is also one of the reasons for organising the exhibition. Excitement is added by the fact that this painting had not been properly researched or even conserved before this exhibition. The exhibition catalogue includes a detailed article describing the restoration process carried out by Conservator Alar Nurkse.

Ivan Aivazovsky’s seascapes are legendary in Russian art history, and they are favourites of the general public. These impactful and exquisitely executed scenes depicting the elemental power of nature, with an added measure of romantic emotionalism, create a thrilling whole. This project is an example of impressive international cooperation, which is important to the museum and hopefully will provide great joy to viewers.

Collections: State Russian Museum in St Petersburg, Latvian National Museum of Art, Tartu Art Museum, Narva Museum, Art Museum of Estonia and private collections.