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Eveline von Maydell. A World in Black and White

Eveline von Maydell. A World in Black and White

Time: 29.03.14–07.09.14  10:00–17:00
Location: Kadriorg Art Museum

Starting on Saturday, 29 March, an idyllic world depicted in the silhouettes of a female Baltic-German artist will be on view at the Kadriorg Art Museum. The exhibition Eveline von Maydell: A World in Black and White, which is being organised in collaboration with the National Archives of Estonia, introduces viewers to an exceptional art collection that was left behind in Estonia during World War II.

Eveline von Maydell was a world citizen and Baltic-German noblewoman, and achieved renown as a silhouette artist. The creative peak of her career was during the inter-war period, when she lived and worked in Germany, the United States and Estonia. The finely-crafted scissor-cut silhouettes depict famous writers and politicians, from Thomas Mann to Theodore Roosevelt, and theatrical and musical celebrities, from Anna Pavlova to Ethel Leginska, in addition to numerous society ladies, children and pets. The artist’s skill at adding expression to her work with details and period-related elements reveals the uniqueness of the subjects’ personalities, even in these small-scale silhouette portraits. “Eveline von Maydell’s silhouettes may be in black-and-white, but they depict the entire colour spectrum of her contemporary world,” says the exhibition’s curator Juta Kivimäe.

On the eve of World War II, Eveline von Maydell arrived in Estonia, hoping to establish her home here, but was forced to flee in the autumn of 1940. She left behind two suitcases filled with documents and silhouettes, which are stored at the National Archives of Estonia. Simultaneously with the exhibition at the Kadriorg Art Museum, a photo exhibition illustrating Eveline von Maydell’s life will be on view at the National Archives Gallery.

The exhibitions will be accompanied by a book written by researchers at the Art Museum of Estonia and the National Archives, which introduces the unique art collection, provides information about Eveline von Maydell (1890–1962) and the history of the shadow pictures tradition, and deals with issues related to the preservation and conservation of works of art on paper and made of paper. Also available are the Art Museum of Estonia wall calendar for 2015, which was inspired by Eveline von Maydell’s silhouettes, and a children’s book called Mamma Liine’s Reminiscences. The publications are on sale at the Art Museum of Estonia shops.

The schedule of events accompanying the exhibition is available on the Kadriorg Art Museum website at

Exhibition curators: Juta Kivimäe and Linda Lainvoo
Exhibition and book design: Angelika Schneider

Sponsors: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Molycorp Silmet, Erdike Tekstiil and Laserstuudio

Eveline von Maydell: A World in Black and White will remain open at the Kadriorg Art Museum until 7 September 2014.