Kumu (museum)

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The Kumu Art Museum (Estonian: Kumu kunstimuuseum) is an art museum in Tallinn, Estonia. It is one of the largest museums in Estonia 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 Art Museum
Kumu kunstimuuseum
Õhuvaade Kumule ja Kadrioru pargile.png
The Kumu Art Museum in Kadriorg Park
Established17 February 2006 (2006-02-17)
LocationWeizenbergi 34 / Valge 1, Tallinn, Estonia
Coordinates59°26′11″N 24°47′47″E / 59.43639°N 24.79639°E / 59.43639; 24.79639Coordinates: 59°26′11″N 24°47′47″E / 59.43639°N 24.79639°E / 59.43639; 24.79639
TypeArt museum
Visitors128,712 (2013)[1][2]
DirectorKadi Polli
Public transit access"Kumu",
TLT Bus 31, 67, 68; 39

Kumu is an abbreviation of the Estonian "Kunstimuuseum" ('art museum').

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 (1940–1991) and showing both Socialist Realism and what was then Nonconformist art. Temporary exhibitions include both foreign and Estonian modern and contemporary art.

Kumu received the prestigious European Museum of the Year Award of 2008 from the European Museum Forum.[3]

The buildingEdit

The designer of the building is Pekka Vapaavuori, a Finnish architect who won the competition in 1994. Construction took place between 2003–2006. The museum is set into the limestone slope of Lasnamäe Hill to harmonize, despite its size, with the centuries-old Kadriorg Park.


  • Ground floor: Entrance from the Kadriorg Park side, auditorium and cafe.
  • 1st floor: Entrance from the Lasnamägi car park 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 museumEdit

The Art Museum of Estonia was founded on November 17, 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 for renovation, since it had fallen into almost complete disrepair during the Soviet occupation of Estonia. At the end of 1991, then the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia decided to guarantee the construction of a new building for the Art Museum of Estonia in the Kadriorg park. Until the new building was finished, the Estonian Knighthood House at Toompea Hill in the old town of Tallinn served as the temporary main building of the Art Museum of Estonia. The exhibition there was opened on April 1, 1993. The Art Museum of Estonia permanently closed down the exhibitions in that building in October 2005. In the summer of 2000 the restored Kadriorg Palace was opened, but not as the main building of the Art Museum of Estonia, but as a branch. The Kadriorg Art Museum now exhibits the foreign art collection of the Art Museum of Estonia.

Kumu includes exhibition halls, an auditorium that offers diverse possibilities, and an education centre for children and art lovers (see above). KUMU has a thorough collection of Estonian art, including paintings by Carl Timoleon von Neff, Oscar Hoffmann, Ants Laikmaa, Julia Hagen-Schwarz, Oskar Kallis, Konrad Mägi, Jaan Koort, Henn Roode and Johannes Greenberg.

From the collectionsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Enneolematu muuseumimenu: Titanicu näitusel on käinud 200 000 inimest". epl.delfi.ee (in Estonian). Eesti Päevaleht. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Kultuuriministeeriumi haldusala muuseumide külastatavus 2013" (PDF) (in Estonian). Kultuuriministeerium. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 January 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  3. ^ European Museum Forum. Archived 2007-02-02 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit