Art of Money
In 2018 the Republic of Estonia celebrates its 100th anniversary. While proud of the age of our republic, we cannot forget the hardships and challenges that Estonia has encountered. During these one hundred years the wallets and purses of Estonian people have held the notes and coins of more than a dozen different currencies.
The different currencies of Estonia offer an interesting opportunity to explore the history of the Estonian state. Money is not only a means of payment and a medium of exchange, but also a symbol of a state’s sovereignty or the lack of it, its political and social circumstances, its leaders, people and self-image. Money reaches each and every person. In the pockets of Estonian people, there have been banknotes and coins with images of people, places and events that are important to Estonians, and those featuring Estonian artworks. Some of these masterpieces of Estonian art, such 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, are displayed at this exhibition, along with works by Siim-Tanel Annus and Eva Sepping inspired by money design and history.
With this exhibition, Eesti Pank marks its 100th anniversary and pays homage to Estonian money design and the artists who have helped to build and maintain trust in Estonian money and interpret the Estonian national identity.
In addition, the museum is offering an educational programme, A Tale of Money, accompanied by an instructive and fun worksheet for different ages, as well as a series of talks, Art and Money, given by artists and art lovers about the relationship between art and money.
A richly illustrated book, The Art of Money and Estonia 1918–2018, with texts in Estonian and English, accompanies the exhibition, expanding on the issues of Estonian history and the creation and change in national identity through money.
Curators: Tiina-Mall Kreem (Art Museum of Estonia) and Triin Siiner (Tallinn City Museum)
Advisors: Linda Kaljundi (Tallinn University), Siiri Ries (Eesti Pank) and Maie Uustalu (Eesti Pank)
Designer of the exhibition and the book: Angelika Schneider
Collage: Johann Köler. The Spinner (The Broken Thread). 1863. Art Museum of Estonia / 100 mark treasury note. 1919. Eesti Pank Museum. Author of the collage: Angelika Schneider