Elmar Kits is well represented in the Tartu Art Museum, this is ‘Conversaion between Idiots’ (1968, tempera on paper)

In comparison to the other museums we have visited this trip, the Serlachius in Finland and the KUMU in Tallinn, the Tartu Art Museum is small beer. Established in 1940 at the initiative of the local art school, it has over the years built up an impressive collection, of some 23,000 works, of which – necessarily – only a small sample is being exhibited. I say ‘necessarily’, because the museum is located in the historical building known as the Leaning House (also Falling House), a small but suitable building in the town centre.

Quite a lot of the exhibition I saw (and probably also the collection?) was of local artists, presumably part of the Pallas group linked to the local art school, and mostly of the 1950s and 1960s. Not exactly top notch, but interesting enough to spend an hour wandering around.

A selection: (or back to Tartu) (or, if you have been there already: into Latvia)

another Elmar Kits, ‘Composition with Blue’ (1968, oil on canvas)

beautiful watercolour, ‘Composition’ (1956) from Ado Vabbe, a representative of the Pallas Group

‘Artists and Model’ (1963, oil on cardboard), by Silvia Jogever

‘Half-nude’ (1963, oil on canvas), by Efraim Allsalu

‘Motif from Lithuania’ (1962, oil on plywood), by Aleksander Suuman

this painting, from Albert Anni (1969, oil on canvas) had no title

‘Ten Men’ (1966, oil on canvas), from Artur Lok

‘Flower Sellers’ (1966), another watercolour, from Arnold Simson

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