Estonian Jewellery through the Millennia
The exhibition marks the 35th year of the museum’s operation and acknowledges the earlier generations who have lived on the territory of our country. The exhibition is an enchanting combination of our archaeological heritage, the masterly oeuvre of Adamson-Eric, and unique local jewellery.
With this extraordinary exposition, and based on Adamson-Eric’s work, the museum is looking both back in time and then forward to the present day. The exhibition is focused on the concepts of tradition and innovation. Jewellery has been significant for millennia as property that can be bequeathed, as well as attributes of social status and power. Viewed over such a long period of time, we can see the traditions and skills of both the past and the present reflected in them.
The exhibition begins with the archaeologist Ülle Tamla’s selections from an era when jewellery was still made primarily from animal teeth, bones and amber, and later from tin, bronze, silver and gold. The oldest of the exhibits is a necklace created by people who lived in the Pulli settlement site around 10,000 years ago.
The second part of the exhibition is comprised of the jewellery created by Adamson-Eric and designer jewellery created by artists who are currently active. The examples of Adamson-Eric’s work are from the last stage of his life, when he dealt with decorative metalwork, include modern pins made from simple coastal stones, and sets of jewellery made from pure gold that he made for his wife Mary Adamson. In addition, contemporary artists who use traditional technologies and materials, as well as those who cultivate new approaches, are represented. The jewellery of Urve Küttner, Kadri Mälk, Kärt Summatavet, Tanel Veenre and the youngest artist, Darja Popolitova, who is a PhD student at the Estonian Academy of Arts and the winner of the Adamson-Eric scholarship in 2019, is included in the exhibition.
Since jewellery has been connected to humankind since time immemorial, a selection of photos and prints depicting the wearers of jewellery are also on display.
Curators: Ülle Kruus (Art Museum of Estonia), Kersti Koll (Art Museum of Estonia) and Ülle Tamla (Tallinn University)
Exhibition design and graphic design: Tuuli Aule
Educational and events programmes: Liisi Selg
Exhibition working group: Uve Untera, Villu Plink, Aleksander Josing and Toomas Mäelt
We wish to thank the participating artists: Viivi Aavik, Ülle Kõuts, Urve Küttner, Mari Käbin, Kadri Mälk, Anu Paal, Villu Plink, Darja Popolitova, Jaan Pärn, Anne Roolaht, Kärt Summatavet, Harvi Varkki and Tanel Veenre
Adamson-Eric. Bracelet and brooch. 1964–1968. Art Museum of Estonia