2017/3–4 (26)


Ringa Takanen.
Awakening Beauty: A Woman on the Verge of Emancipation? Case-Study of Venny Soldan-Brofeldt’s Jesus Raising Jairus’ Daughter
7–34; >Summary 35–39<

This paper discusses the painting Jesus Raising Jairus’ Daughter (c. 1917) by the Finnish artist Venny Soldan-Brofeldt. The intriguing painting challenges the representational conventions of altar painting in early twentieth-century Finland. The case study has international significance: it demonstrates how the imagery of Jairus’ daughter changed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a process which took place in religious art elsewhere in Europe too. The aim is not only to highlight how the iconographic and compositional details changed within the theme of Jairus’ daughter, but also to emphasise how its iconography began to bear a resemblance to Sleeping Beauty, another subject popular at that time, addressing the borders between life and death. The results of the analysis are placed in the context of the artist’s views and the societal changes of the era. Jairus’ daughter in Soldan Brofeldt’s painting is presented as a modern woman placed in the conservative context of altar painting, which particularly leads in the direction of the women’s movement.

Katrin Kivimaa. Art Belongs to the People? Transformations of the Popular Understanding of Art in Estonia during the late 1940s
40–54; >Summary 55–57<

The article looks at the changes in the popular understanding of art during the Stalinist period in Estonia, when the official model for producing and assessing culture was strictly defined by the socialist realist method and the corresponding ideological rhetoric. The commentaries in the visitor books of the three exhibitions in the Tallinn Art Hall in 1948–1949 indicate several cultural and social transformations taking place in a recently occupied territory: the strict ideological control over art production, mechanisms of disseminating Soviet ideology through education and culture, the influx of Russian-speakers into Estonia and their participation in viewing practices etc. Special attention is paid to the role of the ‘people’s voice’ in critical responses to art production, and to how different models of assessing or talking about art relate to the rapid process of the old value system being replaced by the new, Soviet one.

Karin Hallas-Murula. Reorganisation of Architectural Education in Estonia During the Stalinist Time, 1944–1950
58–79; >Summary 80–83<

In 1944–1954 architects’ education in Estonia was carried on in the Tallinn Polytechnic Institute. Altogether 113 architecture students earned their diplomas there. In the fall of 1949 the admission of architecture students was interrupted in compliance with an order from Moscow. In 1950 architecture education was started at the newly established Estonian State Art Institute, where it still takes place. Based on a close reading of the archival documents, the article examines the reasons for this shift, putting it into the historical context of Stalinism, when architects were educated as artists who, together with sculptors and applied artists, were to create a highly decorated Stalinist architecture.

Marek Volt, Kristiina Reidolv. Interpretation and Evaluation of a Work of Art: A Philosophical Analysis
84–101; >Summary 102–104<

The focal point of this article is the relation between ‘interpretation’ and ‘evaluation’. Firstly, the relation between interpretation and evaluation is analysed in terms of interpretation (how the interpretation of a work of art defines the evaluation of a work of art), and then the relation is considered from the viewpoint of evaluation. Origin is differentiated as semantic and categorical interpretation, evaluation as determining/ascertaining value and evaluation as esteeming.


Griselda Pollock.
Thinking Sociologically: Thinking Aesthetically. Between Convergence and Difference with Some Historical Reflections on Sociology and Art History
Translated by Hanno Soans, Katrin Kivimaa and Virve Sarapik