A Hundred Years of Art Education in Tallinn. Works by Professors Emeriti of the Estonian Academy of Arts
In the late autumn and early winter of 2014 the public will get a glimpse of a century of the history of art education in Tallinn. The exhibition is part of a series of events to celebrate the anniversary of the Estonian Academy of Arts.
A hundred years is a long time, and the 20th century was especially marked by great social upheavals and forced direction changes. Nevertheless, the nation-state managed to take its applied arts education to a high professional level by the late 1930s. Later, the higher art school went through several reforms, partially for political reasons, and the visual arts were brought together in Tallinn, even from the erstwhile arts centre Tartu. Despite various occupations, the curricula had been raised to a rather high level by the 1960s and 70s. In the Soviet Union at that time, the Estonian State Art Institute was unique for the variety of specialities it taught. In the 1980s the Academy strove for openness and the integration of international experience into its studies.
The early 1990s saw great changes in the higher education institutions of the Republic of Estonia; finally, the schools had the opportunity to acknowledge decades of dedicated work by their staffs. A statute was compiled and approved for the selection of professors emeriti. In 1993 the first people to receive the honourable title of professor emeritus were Mari Adamson, Ella Külv, Paul Luhtein, Salme Raunam and Voldemar Väli. In total, more than thirty professors have now received the honorary title.
This display is special because the twenty professors emeriti who are still creatively active present selected bits and pieces of their life’s work completed from the 1960s to 2014. The works of art on display express the sovereignty of the artist as a creative persona, and most of these items reflect the fields to which their creators have contributed for dozens of years. The professors are active in a notably wide variety of areas, from architecture and interior architecture to design, in numerous fields of applied art, classic visual arts, philosophical theory and the history of art.
We are really pleased that Adamson-Eric and Mari Adamson contributed to the development of the school as professors for a number of years. Their enthusiastic support and guidance helped quite a few current professors emeriti find their calling. The exhibition has been compiled to honour the elite of Estonian higher arts education, and to promote society’s understanding of the specifics of the arts and the recognition of great talent.
Vivat membrum quodlibet,
vivant membra quaelibet,
semper sint in flore!
Exhibition coordinator and author of the text: Ülle Kruus
Exhibition designer: Vello Asi
Graphic designer: Külli Kaats
Curator of the public and educational programmes: Liis Kibuspuu
Exhibition technician: Uve Untera
Joint exhibition of the Estonian Academy of Arts and the Adamson-Eric Museum