Annual Exhibition "Ars academica. Art Collection of the University of Tartu"

The University of Tartu is the birthplace of Estonian art studies, the first art museum and drawing school. The university’s museum and library celebrated the 250th anniversary of the birth of Karl Morgenstern throughout last year, and “Ars academica” is a fitting sequel to the Morgenstern year.

At the exhibition, the audience will see paintings, prints and sculptures from the treasuries of the university’s museum and library – from the graphic works by Albrecht Dürer to the monumental painting “Universitas Tartuensis” by Enn Põldroos. The University of Tartu owns a total of nearly 45,000 artworks, and its collections of antique prints and plaster casts of antique sculptures are the largest in Estonia.

“Ars academica” sheds new light on the works of art that are usually on the walls of lecture halls and offices, seen by professors and students, and displays masterpieces that have not been publicly exhibited for a long time. The exhibition speaks openly of the fate and the problems of the academic collection, and the principles, traditions and future perspectives of collecting art.

Surprisingly, there had been no review exhibitions of Estonia’s oldest art collection before the centenary of our national university. This fault was rectified by “Ars academica”, which was opened in Kadriorg Art Museum in autumn 2019, and has now found its way back to its home town.

The exhibition is open in the University of Tartu museum from 18 February 2021 to 27 February 2022.

The exhibition was curated by Ingrid Sahk and Tiina-Mall Kreem, and the designer and author of graphic design is Angelika Schneider.