Publications by Mikkel Museum 2018

The Art of Money and Estonia 1918–2018

Written by Tiina-Mall Kreem and Triin Siiner
Edited by Linda Kaljundi
Grappic design and image editing by Angelika Schneider
In Estonian and English, illustrated
216 pp.
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Mikkel Museum
Tallinn 2018
ISBN 978-9949-485-91-8

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This book accompanies the exhibition The Art of Money (01.12.2018 – 10.03.2019, Mikkel Museum) and looks at the relationship between Estonian art and money design, as well as the history of Estonia and the creation and change in national identity in money design through the motifs and artworks depicted. Money is not just a means of payment, but also a symbol of a state’s sovereignty or the lack of it, its political and social circumstances, its leaders, people and national self-images.
During the one hundred years of Estonian statehood, the wallets and purses of Estonians have held more than a dozen different currencies. There have been just three that Estonians can call their own: the Estonian mark in 1919–1927 and the Estonian kroon in 1928–1940 and 1992–2010. Unlike the Reichsmarks and Soviet roubles, which were in circulation in occupation years, the euro was adopted voluntarily in 2011. The changeover from kroons to euros and the use of banknotes which share the same design across the euro area did not mean that currency design ceased in Estonia. It is still very much alive and the national sides of two euro commemorative and collector coins reflect and shape our identity in the same way as the old Estonian marks and kroons.
During the past 100 years artists have repeatedly used the masterpieces of Estonian art as elements of currency design, especially during the nation-building periods, i.e. while designing the first marks in the newly independent country and the Estonian kroons in the restored Republic of Estonia. Estonian banknotes feature such masterpieces as The Spinner by Johann Köler, Dawn and Dusk by August Weizenberg, Landscape of Viljandi by Eduard Wiiralt and Kalevipoeg at the Gate of Hell by Kristjan Raud. In addition to currency notes and coins in circulation in Estonia in 1918–2018 and their designs, the book includes a selection of paintings by Siim-Tanel Annus in his original technique, which have been inspired by the history of Estonian money and its design.
With this exhibition and the accompanying book The Art of Money, Eesti Pank and the Art Museum of Estonia celebrate their 100th anniversaries and pay homage to the Estonian art of money and the artists who have helped to build and maintain the trust of the Estonian people in their currencies and to interpret the Estonian heritage and identity.

Saved Sanctity. Icons from the Collection of Nikolai Kormashov

Compiled by Andrei Kormashov, Orest Kormashov and Aleksandra Murre
Texts by Orest Kormashov, Andrei Kormashov, Mai Levin and Natalia Komashko
Edited by Aleksandra Murre, Natalia Komashko
Graphic design and image editing Andrei Kormashov and Kätlin Tischler
240 pp.
In Estonian, English and Russian, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Mikkel Museum
Tallinn 2018
ISBN 978-9949-485-81-9

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The book accompanies the exhibition Saved Sanctity. Icons from the Collection of Nikolai Kormashov (11.04.–11.11.2018). The icon collection of the artist Nikolai Kormashov (1929–2012) is unique for several reasons. Saved Sanctity is not just the title of this exhibition, but it also describes the long-term selfless activity and life philosophy behind its development. Nikolai Kormashov, whose path to becoming an artist had several decisive turning points, was able to rescue several sacred images that were in danger of destruction.

The exhibition and catalogue contain a number of rare icons from northern Russia, the Pskov area and Kormashov’s birthplace near Murom in the Vladimir Oblast. The book includes the stories of how the icons were found and the difficult fate of these sacred images, as well as their role in the art of the second half of the 20th century. This is the first time that such a large part of the collection will be on display, which will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to the research on early Russian art, because it includes icons from regions in northern Russia where icon workshops were renowned and productive in their day, but only a few examples of the art produced in them have survived. In the scientific sense, Kormashov’s collection is especially important because the information on where the icons were found is quite precise and, therefore, enables entire episodes of the regional history to be rediscovered.

The exhibition and catalogue include the most significant but not all of the icons from Kormashov’s collection. A large number of Russian researchers, headed by Natalia Komashko, helped to attribute and date the icons, and their contribution is hard to overestimate. This book is an important event for the Art Museum of Estonia, the owners of Nikolai Kormashov’s collection, the researchers of early Russian art and a wide circle of art lovers.

In the Roman Style. Mannerist Graphic Art in Estonian Collections

Edited by Anu Allikvee, Greta Koppel and Aleksandra Murre
Texts by Arkadi Ippolitov and Aleksandra Murre
Designed by Liina Siib
304 pp.
In Estonian, English and Russian, illustrated
Published by the Art Museum of Estonia – Mikkel Museum
Tallinn 2018
ISBN 978-9949-485-74-1

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This book was born along with the preparations for the exhibition called In the Roman Style. Mannerist Graphic Art in Estonian Collections at the Mikkel Museum (21.10.2017–11.03.2018). There are a relatively small number of estamp graphics from this period in Estonian museums, but by gathering the graphic sheets from all the collections, it was possible to compile a diverse exhibition, which deals with many important themes related to Mannerism. In addition to the foreign graphic art from Art Museum of Estonia and Johannes Mikkel collections, the materials also include graphic sheets from the University of Tartu Art Museum, the University of Tartu Library, the National Library of Estonia, the National Archives of Estonia and private collections. The book and exhibition present all these works together for the first time, thereby creating a broad-based survey of the mannerist graphic art to be found in Estonia.

In addition to the catalogue of the works included in the exhibition, the book also includes a comprehensive article on the nature of Mannerism and mannerist graphic art by Arkadi Ippolitov, an outstanding Russian art historian, and Keeper of the Italian Graphic Art Collection at the State Hermitage in St Petersburg.