The Kumu Art Museum fulfils the functions of a national gallery and a museum of contemporary art. The exposition is spread out on different floors, leading visitors from older art to more recent works.
The exposition starts on the third floor, where we show the Baltic German artistic heritage from the 18th and 19th centuries and an overview of Estonian national art from the first half of the 20th century. On the fourth floor, the display continues with the local art of the Soviet Era and the 1990s. Both floors also include project spaces meant for the in-depth study of issues, artists or phenomena of certain eras. The fifth floor of the Kumu building houses the contemporary art gallery, where new exhibitions are held on a regular basis.
Besides the contemporary art gallery, the most important space for temporary exhibitions is the great hall on the ground floor of the museum. In the great hall, we exhibit the most extensive and complicated research projects and foreign expositions, which require a high level of collaboration with various institutions around the world.
Annually, Kumu holds eight to ten major temporary exhibitions both on historical and contemporary art from Estonia and abroad. Kumu has also chosen a few topics to concentrate on in research and exhibition projects. Some of the focal themes are Estonian art in the early 20th century, the avant-garde artists of the Soviet era, sound art, fashion, visual studies and female artists.
Besides exhibition halls, we should not forget the Kumu auditorium, where film programmes, concerts and theatrical performances are organised. The annual Kumu conference, the popular film series Kumu Documentary and the art film festival KuFF are also held in the auditorium. Kumu’s permanent exposition and temporary exhibitions are mediated to the audience by the Kumu Education Centre, which manages the museum’s busy programme of public talks, discussions, tours, activities for schools and the operation of art studios.