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The Project Space. Wellknown, but still unknown Estonian Printmaker Agathe Veeber (1901–1988)

The Project Space. Wellknown, but still unknown Estonian Printmaker Agathe Veeber (1901–1988)

Time: 19.12.18–12.05.19  10:00–18:00
Location: Kumu exhibition spaces

Agathe Veeber (1901–1988), who started her artistic career in Estonia and successfully continued her creative work in New York, is among the classics of Estonian art. The focus of this exhibition is the artist’s later works. For the first time, photos and archival materials introducing the artist’s life, which have reached the museum in recent years, will be included in the exhibition. A separate cycle in the exhibition is comprised of views of St Nicholas’ Church and its environs in Tallinn’s Old Town, where the artist’s home was located between 1940 and 1944. This is Agathe Veeber’s third solo exhibition at the Art Museum of Estonia. The earlier exhibitions occurred in 1982 and 2002.

Agathe Veeber’s oeuvre is filled with expressiveness, melancholy, spirituality and the static peace of still lifes, and it demonstrates a special affinity for landscapes and animals. In 1933, she entered Pallas, the higher art school in Tartu, to study with Ado Vabbe and Nikolai Triik, and graduated in 1938 as a graphic artist. Veeber’s artistic style crystallised in the 1930s and 1940s in the form of urban views and engravings with sacral themes. After the bombing raid in March 1944, the artist went to Vienna to study graphic art, and after World War II she ended up in refugee camps in Germany. There too she sought opportunities to deal with graphic art and participated in the surprisingly lively art scene in the refugee camps. After settling in the US in 1949, Agathe Veeber quickly achieved success. She was accepted as a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), which enabled her to participate in their annual exhibitions. Her works, especially her woodcuts and intaglio prints, with images of angels, were widely praised. While living in New York, her ties to the Pallas school were not severed; in fact, she perfected the style she had developed in Estonia and participated in the exile Estonian art scene.

The exhibition is accompanied by the book Agathe Veeber (1901–1988). Well-known but Still Unknown. The presentation of the book will be held on Thursday, 20 December at 6 pm. The book was authored by Ulrika Jõemägi and Anne Untera and designed by Külli Kaats. The book is being published as part of the Art Museum of Estonia’s series of archival publications, which introduce materials stored in the museum’s archives. The letters, documents, photos and numerous works from the Art Museum of Estonia collection help to provide a clearer picture of the artist’s life and creative career. The earlier publications in the series include: A Life Sacrificed to Art. Salome Trei (1905–1995). Biographical Archival Materials and Late Works, as well as Lost Estonian Sculptors. Linda Sõber (1911–2004) and Endel Kübarsepp (1912–1972).

Exhibition curator: Anne Untera
Exhibition design: Villu Plink
Graphic design: Külli Kaats

We wish to thank:
Kaare Kolbre, Epp Ojamaa-Kuhn, the Tartu Art Museum and the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Estonia

Agathe Veeber. St. Nicholas Church Motif. 1942. Drypoint. Art Museum of Estonia