KUMU (museum)

KUMU is an art museum in Tallinn, Estonia. The museum is the largest one in the Baltics and one of the largest art museums in Northern Europe. It is one of the five branches of the Art Museum of Estonia, housing its main offices.

Kumu presents both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. The main collection covers Estonian art from the 18th century onwards, including works from the occupations period (1941–1991) and showing both Socialist Realism and Nonconformist art. Temporary exhibitions comprise of both foreign and Estonian modern and contemporary art.

Kumu abbreviates from Estonian "KUnstiMUuseum" (art museum). The designer was a Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori, who won the competition in 1994. It was constructed between 2003 to 2006.

Kumu received European Museum of the Year Award 2008 by European Museum Forum.

Division scheme

  • Ground floor: Entrance from the Kadriorg park side, auditorium and cafe.
  • 1st floor: Entrance from the Lasnamägi car parking side, terrace, information, cloakroom, toilets, large auditorium, library, bookstore and restaurant. Temporary exhibitions wing.
  • 2nd floor: Classics of Estonian art from the 18th century until the end of the Second World War.
  • 3rd floor: Estonian art from 1945 to 1991.
  • 4th floor: Temporary contemporary art exhibitions, art after 1991.

History of the Museum

Art Museum of Estonia was founded on November 17th, 1919, but it was not until 1921 that it got its first permanent building — the Kadriorg Palace, built in the 18th century. In 1929 the palace was expropriated from the Art Museum in order to rebuild it as the residence of the President of Estonia.

The Art Museum of Estonia was housed in several different temporary spaces, until it moved back to the palace in 1946. In September, 1991 the Kadriorg Palace was closed, because it was totally deteriorated by then. At the end of the year the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia decided to guarantee the construction of a new building for the Art Museum of Estonia in Kadriorg. Until then the Knighthood House at Toompea Hill served as the temporary main building of the Art Museum of Estonia. The exhibition there was opened on April 1, 1993. Art Museum of Estonia permanently closed down the exhibitions in that building in October 2005.

At the end of the 1970s, in the 1980s the first branches of the Art Museum of Estonia were founded. Starting from the 1995 all the branches offer different educational programmes for children and young people. In 1996 the exhibition hall on the first floor of Rotermann Salt Storage was opened, this branch was closed in May 2005. In summer 2000 the restored Kadriorg Palace was opened, but not as the main building of the Art Museum of Estonia, but as a branch. Kadriorg Art Museum now exhibits the foreign art collection of the Art Museum of Estonia.

At present there are four active branches of the Art Museum of Estonia: Kadriorg Art Museum (Kadriorg Palace and Mikkel Museum), Niguliste Museum, Adamson-Eric Museum and Kumu Art Museum.

For the first time during its nearly 100-year-old history, the Art Museum of Estonia has a building that both meets the museum's requirements and is worthy of Estonian art in its collections. Kumu includes exhibition halls, an auditorium that offers diverse possibilities, and an education centre for children and art lovers.

Notes

External links

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Anya A
6 May 2016
Absolute must visit in Tallinn! Amazing collection of Estonian art and Soviet art. Should be number 2 in all tourist guides (after the old town)!
Fernando T.
7 December 2014
Above expectations. Not only modern art, also Estonian art for centuries, and its evolution. Amazing architecture. Average price. Good cafe.
Louise S
1 March 2016
Interesting collection in a modern building, definitely worth visiting. The spring 2016 exhibition on Estonian art during the communist period was fascinating. I recommend café too. Free wifi.
National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Emerging like a knife edge from the limestone cliff and with a vast circular interior, Estonia’s National Gallery and contemporary art centre opened in 2006...
Miwa Nagamitsu Ahlstrom
21 September 2016
Amazing! From their classic era to during the Soviet era to contemporary. Such rich and complex history and influence. Highly recommend!!
Юлия Кондрухова
Музей очень понравился. По мимо современного искусства, тут выставлены предметы искусства 16-17 веков. Угодили всем ????????
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