Morgenstern Hall

New permanent exhibition on the history of the University of Tartu "The University of Our Lives"

Since 29 November 2019 a new permanent exhibition on the history of the university, created to celebrate the centenary of the Estonian national university, is open to the public.

The exhibition covers the university’s story through four centuries of its existence and explores how the University of Tartu has affected the lives of every one of us.

Photo by Jarek Jõepera

Where does a university’s distinctiveness, its soul lie? Is it in the faculty members’ wisdom, colourful student life, the decisions made by administrators, genius loci, dormitory and off-campus life, the university of life outside the walls of the academia, loneliness, unceasing love, new knowledge or unexpected discoveries? All of the above, and naturally, in much more. The university has its own special significance to each one of us.

The spirit of universitas influences the annals of science and our everyday life more than we realizse on a daily basis. It can even be argued that without the university, there would be no Estonians or Estonian state today. Life as we know it today and imagine it tomorrow would not exist.

This is an exhibition about eternal youth, searchers, choices and breakthroughs.

Photo by Jarek Jõepera

Curators of the exhibition are Mariann Raisma, Lea Leppik, Kristiina Tiideberg, Terje Lõbu, Janet Laidla, Ken Ird, Kaija-Liisa Koovit, Virge Lell, Karoliina Kalda, Paula Põder and Külli Lupkin from the University of Tartu Museum. The designer of the exhibition is Mari Kurismaa and graphic designer Mari Kaljuste.

The renovation of the hall and creation of the exhibition were funded by the University of Tartu, Ministry of Culture, Epp Tsirk-Jüriado via the Estonian American Fund, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the city of Tartu, Embassy of Sweden, Moodne Valgustus and Joonstuudio.