Estonian Art Classic. Adamson-Eric: a Versatile Modernist 19/10/2019 – 02/02/2020

Järvenpää Art Museum
Adamson-Eric. Dekoratiivne seinataldrik.1937. Eesti Kunstimuuseum

Estonian Art Classic. Adamson-Eric: a Versatile Modernist

A major exhibition of works by Adamson-Eric, a classic of Estonian Modernism, was open in Finland in the Järvenpää Art Museum.

The exhibition of works by Adamson-Eric, one of the most prominent Estonian art classics, is being held in cooperation between the Adamson-Eric Museum and the Järvenpää Art Museum and celebrates the centenary of the Art Museum of Estonia.

Adamson-Eric (1902–1968) was one of the most brilliant representatives of Estonian Modernism. He became a legend during his own lifetime. He was a talented and exceptionally versatile artist, equally prominent in painting and in almost all fields of applied art and design. He was an active and bold participant in the Estonian cultural life, a prominent public figure, an initiator of art policies, an organiser of Estonian art life and, after the Second World War, a highly esteemed art lecturer who influenced several generations of Estonian artists. Adamson-Eric’s rich oeuvre clearly reflects the developments of Estonian painting and applied art of more than four decades.

Adamson-Eric’s paintings are characterised by sensitive colouring, impeccable taste and elegant wit. The artist’s aesthetic creed and style of painting were greatly influenced by French painting. In his paintings, the trends characteristic of his time were given a deeply individual touch. In Estonian applied art, Adamson-Eric can be considered an innovative pioneer, who, with his characteristic frame of mind, fresh approach and personal images, promoted new developments in ceramics, porcelain painting, leatherwork, metal art and textiles. As a designer, his skills are characterised by a strong knowledge of material, bold colour schemes and dynamic decor.

The exhibition in the Järvenpää Art Museum is one of the largest displays of Adamson-Eric’s oeuvre. Almost 500 works will be exhibited: paintings, jewellery, ceramics, metal and leather works, furniture and textiles. The exhibition also presents an extraordinary opportunity to view the three carpets created according to the designs prepared for the Paris World Exhibition of 1937, which are permanently displayed separately in the Adamson-Eric Museum, the Museum of the Bank of Estonia and the hall of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The exhibition includes works from the painting collection of the Art Museum of Estonia and the Adamson-Eric Museum, as well as from the collections of the Tartu Art Museum, the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design and the Museum of the Bank of Estonia.

The exhibition will be opened by Sirje Helme, General Director of the Art Museum of Estonia, and Harri Tiido, Estonian Ambassador to Finland.

Curator of the exhibition: Kersti Koll (Adamson-Eric Museum)
Coordinator: Hanna Nikander (Järvenpää Art Museum)
Exhibition architect: Tiit Jürna

Acknowledgements: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia and Tuglas-seura