Conferences and seminars


Dear Colleague,
At the time when history moves faster than scholarly reflection, this short anonymous
survey invites you to consider roles, references and relations that art historians and their output have. Your answers will provide a basis for a discussion at the “Baltic Art Histories” conference to be held in Vilnius on 4-5 October 2024.
Many thanks for your time and thought. Looking very much forward to meeting you in Vilnius!
prof. dr. Giedrė Mickūnaitė, conference co-organiser, Vilnius Academy of Arts

Seminar "Enn Põldroos and his time"
The Kumu Art Museum and the Estonian Association of Art Historians and Curators are organising a joint seminar focusing on the art processes of the second half of the 1950s and the 1960s in the light of the development of Enn Põldroos and his contemporaries.
The seminar will take place on 2 April 2024, 13.00-17.30, in the Kumu 2nd floor café area.
More information:

Annual end-of-year seminar : 80 years of Juta Keevallik
On 1 December 2023, Juta Keevallik's 80th birthday seminar was held at the Kadriorg Art Museum.

EKKÜ aastalõpuseminar Monumendid muutuses
16.12. 2022
Eesti Kunstiteadlaste ja Kuraatorite Ühingu seminar võtab lähivaatesse sel aastal enim vaidlusi põhjustanud kunstivaldkonna: monumendid ja monumentaalkunsti, fassaadid ja arhitektuuridekoori. Monumentide ja muu sümboolika eemaldamise kampaaniad on aktiveerinud hulgaliselt mitmesuguseid pärandikihistusi – sageli vahepeal juba unustusse vajunud mälestusmärke, reljeefe, seinamaale jm nii keskustes kui ääremaal.

Conference 2022
April, 8-9, Tartu and Tallinn
The centenary of Estonian art history. Institutions, personalities, methods, stories, reception

Programme: kava Eesti kunstiteaduse aastasada.pdf

Annual conference 2019:
December, 6-7 Viljandi

Annual conference 2018:
From gypsum statue to the textile installation and back. Picks from the history of Estonian sculpture

Friday, December 7th, 2018 at 13.00 to 20.00
Kadriorg Art Museum in Tallinn (Weizenbergi 37)

The seminar is dedicated to Heini Paas who celebrated her 100th anniversary in October, 6th this year. Her field of interest has been foremost the Estonian sculpture, as a curator of the sculpture collection in the Art Museum of Estonia she has organised many exhibitions and initiated research projects. The seminar aims to reactivate the research on Estonian sculpture and the use of the sculpture collections which have gained little attention until now. The seminar is open for art historians and curators as well as for the students from the fields of arts, visual studies and history. The questions and problems raised in the seminar can be discussed further in respective research projects and exhibitions.
Curated by Rebeka Põldsam.

The annual seminar of the Estonian Society of Art Historians was held in KUMU Art Museum in December, 16. More than hundred participants were present.
The role and characteristics of the art exhibition was discussed in the three panels.
Can art exhibitions change the world? Or educate the people? How to measure the good exhibition?
The art historians, curators and critics from different generations and institutions included Rael Artel, Epp Lankots, Kai Lobjakas, prof. Krista Kodres, Eha Komissarov, Andres Kurg, Ingrid Ruudi, Liina Siib, Tiiu Talvistu and Leele Välja.
Prof. Mart Kalm and Maarin Ektermann acted as the seminar's "line judges". The seminar was moderated by Mari-Kristiina Soomre.

See also the visual overview of the event by joonmeedia:


27th–28th November

Conference: The Geographies of Art History in the Baltic Region

Co-organized by Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Art and the Estonian Society of Art Historians, Tallinn

The central aim of this conference is to initiate regional and local debates about the geographical and disciplinary borders of art history as it is practiced in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Traditionally, in all three countries, art history as an academic and museum discipline has been formed as the study of national art cultures. Recently the prevailing national model has been questioned, but still the heritage of the discipline and the cultural policies of both the state and of museums continue to favour the study of national art.

Day 1, Friday, 27 Nov

9:00–9:30 Registration

9:30–9:45 Katrin Kivimaa. Opening address

Keynote presentation
9:45–10:30 Stella Pelše. Creating the discipline: Facts, stories and sources of Latvian art history

10:30–11:00 Coffee break

Session I: National Art History and Its Discontents
Moderator: Katrin Kivimaa

11:00–11:30 Jolita Mulevièiûtë. New aims, old means: Rewriting Lithuanian art history of the “National Revival” period

11:30–12:00 Kristiâna Âbele. Fellow-nationals vs. compatriots: The turn of the 20th century period and the mono-ethnic tradition of its interpretation in Latvian art history

12:00–12:30 Jon Blackwood. Writing “national” art history: Estonia and Scotland as case studies

12:30–13:00 Giedrë Jankevièiûtë. Writing art history of the vanished states: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the 1940s

13:00–14:00 Lunch

Keynote presentation
14:00–14:45 Linara Dovydaityte. The writing of history in a museum: The case of the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius

Session II: Questioning the Canon
Moderator: Stella Pelše

14:45–15:15 Renja Suominen-Kokkonen. Writing a canon of architectural history in Finland

15:15–15:45 Vytautas Michelkevièius. Producing the canon of Lithuanian photography: Dispositif of art photography since 1969

15:45–16:15 Coffee break

Session III: Interdisciplinary Research
Moderator: Anu Allas

16:15–16:45 Visa Immonen. Medievalisms with a difference: The Finnish and Estonian pre-war traditions of antiquarian art history

16:45–17:15 Epp Lankots. History appropriating contemporary concerns: Leonhard Lapin’s architectural history and mythical thinking

17:15–17:45 Tomas Pabedinskas. Lithuanian photography: Contemporary practice and its definitions

Day 2, Saturday, 28 Nov

9:30–10:15 Keynote presentation
Krista Kodres. Our own Estonian art history: Changing geographies of art historical narrative

Session I: Beyond the Local
Moderator: Linara Dovydaityte

10:15–10:45 Agne Narusyte. Disruptive art histories: Strategies of innovative thinking

10:45–11:15 Alexandra Alisauskas. Friends “is olvais velcome” to Lithuania: International representations of Lithuanian art practices

11:15–11:30 Coffee break

Session II: Rethinking the Soviet Past
Moderator: Epp Lankots

11:30–12:00 Andres Kurg. Taking the Soviet Union seriously

12:00–12:30 Mari Laanemets. On the reconstruction of the art history of Soviet Estonia: The art history of interdisciplinary art

12:30–13:00 Kristina Budrytë. The “Baltic” fine arts exhibitions in Vilnius during the Soviet period: Conventions and innovations

13:00–14:00 Lunch

Session III: Histories of the Built Environments
Moderator: Andres Kurg

14:00–14:30 Laima Lauèkaitë. Writing art history of the city: From nationalism to multiculturalism

14:30–15:00 Anna Ancâne. The concepts of international and vernacular in studies of Latvian architecture in the second half of the 17th century

15:00–15:30 Marija Dremaite. Post-war architecture in the Soviet Baltic republics: National, regional and international research perspectives

15:30–16:00 Coffee break

16:00–17:00 Closing discussion

Lähem informatsioon ja registreerimine kuni 20. novembrini.
Anu Allas,


16th December
Christmas seminar, Estonian Museum of Contemporary Art
Prof Marco Laimre introduced the concept and activities of the Museum.
Followed by a reception at the School of Restoration, Estonian Academy of Arts.


26th February
The anniversary of the academic journal Kunstiteaduslikke Uurimusi at the library of the Estonian Academy of Arts
Publication of the volume 15 and 30 years from the publication of volume 1. The presentation of the new issue of the journal which includes the bibliography of fifteen volumes.

15th May
Conference Quo Vadis, Estonian art history? dedicated to Armin Tuulse’s 100th anniversary, Kadriorg Art Museum

Kaur Alttoa Armin Tuulse and castles – before and after
Kersti Markus Armin Tuulse and researching churches
Krista Kodres Sten Karling, his research methods and perspectives
Jüri Hain Villem Raam as a writer on art
Panel discussion Mapping the problems of Estonian art history and criticism in the light of new developments in Western art history
Katrin Kivimaa, Andres Kurg, Mari Laanemets, Virve Sarapik

27th December
End of the Year excursion
Excursion to Kolga manor, guided by Juhan Maiste’s and Jüri Kuuskemaa’s talks on aristocratic culture, manor houses, sacral architecture and heritage preservation. Followed by pastor Margus Kirja’s Christmas sermon and a concert by local folk musicians at Jõelähtme church. Dinner in Jõelähtme golf club, and discussion of the Association’s plans for 2008.


25th May
Conference dedicated to the 95th anniversary of Helmi Üprus (1911–1978), Tartu University History Museum

Juhan Maiste Helmi Üprus and paradigm change in research on Estonian classicism
Epi Tohvri The ideas of Enlightenment and Classicism in architectural culture
Krista Kodres Parish church as temple. On the rhetorical ambition of architecture
Leonhard Lapin Technological classicism
Mart Kivimäe The problem of cultural tolerance in the history of the relations between historicism and classicism
Mai Levin Syncretism in fine art during the age of Classicism
Kadi Polli Classical content and form in Enlightenment art
Mariann Raisma Musée Imaginaire. Utopias of the Enlightenment museum.

20th December
Christmas party at the Adamson-Eric museum
Gathering at the exhibition of Herman Talvik, poems read by actress Anu Lamp and flute music by Karina Voloðina.


17th November
Kumu art museum’s autumn conference Green Raw and Uncut: Young Estonian Art at the Beginning of a New Century, in co-operation with Estonian Academy of Arts, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Estonia and Art Museum of Estonia

Karin Laansoo (Estonian Academy of Arts). Don’t trust anyone under 30! Making the book 22+ Noored Eesti kunstnikud
Irit Rogoff (Goldsmiths College, University of London). Addressee of the work of art
Kaido Ole (Estonian Academy of Arts). 325-
Kristjan Mändmaa (Estonian Academy of Arts). Brave New Designers
Rael Artel (Rael Artel Gallery, Artdepoo, Estonian Academy of Arts) Fotorama! New adventures in a new century

Presentation of the book 22+Noored Eesti kunstnikud, edited by Karin Laansoo, 408 pages.

16th December
Christmas party at Kumu art museum
Introduction to the new building of the Art Museum of Estonia


20th December
Christmas party at Mikkeli Museum
Kadi Polli’s introduction to the exhibition of the collection of the Low Countries in Estonia Low Sky, Wide Horizon


1st–3rd June
Study trip to Finland Retretti Art Centre and museums in Helsinki
9th December
Conference Lost Eighties, Rotermanni Salt Storage, in co-operation with Centre for Contemporary Arts, Estonia
Sirje Helme Why eighties?
Ants Juske Soviet postmodernism
Eha Komissarov 1980s as the final self-realisation of Soviet Estonian art
Heie Treier Sublime and kitsch
Sirje Helme Vacuum. The impossibility of radical art
Piret Lindpere 1980s in Estonian architecture: Transitive and transitory story
Raivo Kelomees ‘Game board’ of marginal art life
Kädi Talvoja Colour slide painting of Tartu school. Grotesque: A game or a tactic?
Pirjo Urvak Punkculture in Estonia: 1980s and present


20th–21st June
Excursion to Latvia

Christmas party at Kadriorg Museum of Art
Visit to exhibition Antiquarium from Jüri Kuuskemaa’s collection of antiques


13th–14th December
Conference Problem of Realism in Estonian Art and Art History, Estonian Academy of Art
Organisers: Estonian Association of Art Historians, Institute of Art History at Estonian Academy of Arts
Sirje Helme Modernist realism in the Estonian Painting of 1960s and 1970s
Jaak Kangilaski Metamorphoses of the Notion of Realism in Soviet Art Theory
Kädi Talvoja Hyperrealism in the view of different concepts of realism
Ants Juske Four realisms in Estonian art: Slum, sots, sur and hyperrealism
Ene Lamp Nazi realism as allegory
Peeter Linnap Politics of pictorial prosthesis
Reet Varblane Illusions or reality? Young women in Estonian art
Raivo Kelomees Atlas of reality: art reality and reality art

Selected papers of the conference were published in Kunstiteaduslikke Uurimusi / Studies on Art and Architecture, 2003/ 1- 2 [13].

Before Christmas
A gathering took place at the Mikkel Museum in the icons room of the exhibition of Nikolai Kormashov’s private collection.


29th June
100 candles were lit in the garden of Voldemar Vaga’s home in Tartu, followed by a visit to the cemetery.

30th June
Voldemar Vaga’s exhibition was opened in Kunstihoone salong (compiled by Inge Teder, designed by Jaak Soans).

21st–22nd October
Conference to celebrate the 100th anniversary of professor Voldemar Vaga Estonian Art History and Criticism in Twentieth Century, Estonian Academy of Arts
Ene Lamp Professor Voldemar Vaga and Estonian art history
Kaur Alttoa Researching Estonian medieval architecture
Kersti Markus Researching Estonian medieval art
Krista Kodres 16th-18th centuries as object of research in Estonian art history
Juhan Maiste Classicism: Art writing, reception and history
Kaalu Kirme Researching the history of goldsmithery as art in Estonia
Juta Keevallik Researching 19th century fine art in Estonia
Karin Hallas Researching historicism and art nouveau in Estonia: Art history’s changing views
Mart Kalm Covering the field. Researching 20th century Estonian architecture
Harry Liivrand Estonian art history during the first year of Soviet occupation: The genesis of collaboration
Ants Juske Three models of Estonian art criticism after the Second World War
Sirje Helme Research and publications on post Second World War art
Jaak Kangilaski Art theory in 20th century
Reet Varblane Feminist discourse in Estonian art criticism
Conference papers were published in the proceedings on Estonian Academy of Arts, issue nr.9/2002.


5th June
Trip to manor houses at Harju and Raplamaa, led by Ants Hein.


24. mail
Evi Pihlaku (1928–1993) mälestuspäev Eesti Kunstimuuseumis

Harry Liivrand. Evi Pihlak – kriitik või esineja
Ene Lamp. Ääremärkusi Noor-Eesti kunsti vaimsest taustast
Eha Komissarov. Kunstniku individualismi tõus – uus märksõna 1960. aastatel
Kaalu Kirme. Mälestusi kolleeg Evi Pihlakust
Mai Levin. Evi Pihlaku arhiiv[b][/b]