Museum History

The Kumu Art Museum is the headquarters and a branch of the Art Museum of Estonia (Museum of Estonia until 1928), which was built to be a multifunctional contemporary art museum and to also satisfy the need for conserving and exhibiting the world’s largest collection of Estonian art, which is comprised of 60,000 works.

For the first time in its almost century-long history, the Art Museum of Estonia has a building that specifically conforms to the needs of a museum and is worthy of Estonian art. The international architectural competition, which was held in 1993–1994, was won by the Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori. The construction of the building was started in 2002. The opening ceremonies for the Kumu Art Museum were held on 17 February 2006 and attending by a large crowd of visitors. The doors were opened to the public on Saturday, 18 February at 11 am.

Kumu’s history, which is a part of the history of the Art Museum of Estonia, is currently, to a great extent, a construction story. Today, the local, as well as international, public have become accustomed to the museum. An in-house rhythm of activities has developed. Slowly, we are starting to forget what a great shift Kumu caused in the reality of the Estonian art landscape. The Kumu story is being created, being born of Kumu’s exhibitions and activities, and its role as a carrier and transmitter of cultural values.

Read more about the history of Art Museum of Estonia from this page.