The University of Tartu is the birthplace of Estonian art research and scholarship, the first Estonian art museum and the first art educational institution: a drawing school. The University of Tartu, founded in 1632 and reorganised as an Estonian-language national university in 1919, is an important pillar of the Estonian art scene: the works from the University of Tartu art collection are often shown at exhibitions in Estonia and abroad.
The exhibition Ars academica provides the first major overview of the university’s diverse art collection, which was founded more than two hundred years ago, in an attempt to fill a gap in the Estonian cultural life. The exhibition shows the treasures from the art collection, ranging from works by Albrecht Dürer to works by Ilmar Malin, and offers a glimpse into the fate and problems of the University of Tartu art collection, as well as the principles, traditions and prospects of collecting works of art.
The opening work of the exhibition – Universitas Tartuensis – painted by Enn Põldroos, demonstrates the ability of science and art to make connections between places, times and ideas.
This guest exhibition by the 100-year-old Estonian national university in the Kadriorg Art Museum, a branch of the 100-year-old Art Museum of Estonia, is more than a jubilee celebration of cooperation between the two long-standing partners. The exhibition and the accompanying programme will also remind the public of the historically rooted symbiotic relationship between art and science, and their synergy to build the future, aimed to appeal to people of different generations.
Curators of the exhibition: Tiina-Mall Kreem (Art Museum of Estonia) and Ingrid Sahk (University of Tartu Museum)
Exhibition design and graphic design: Angelika Schneider
The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.