2008/3 (17)

Special Issue ‘Quo vadis, Estonian Art History’
Dedicated to the 100th birthday of Armin Tuulse
Edited by Krista Kodres

Quo vadis…
Krista Kodres


13−22; >Summary 23−24<
Kaur Alttoa.
Armin Tuulse and Estonian Medieval Castles

In the 1930s, Armin Tuulse’s research was mainly focused on castles. He summed up the results in his doctoral dissertation on Estonian and Latvian castles, published in 1942. The book is constructed on the typology of castles. Research of the following decades has revealed new data on Estonian castles, complementing and sometimes correcting Tuulse’s views. But, on the whole, his book has maintained its importance.

25−37;>Summary 38−41<
Kersti Markus. Armin Tuulse and The Study of Churches

This article analyses Armin Tuulse’s evolution into a scientist in Estonia in the 1930s and his post-war scholarly activities in Sweden. The important problems of the article include disputes of German and Swedish art historians on different cultural regions, searches for originality in Estonian art and a study of the methods of medieval sacral art.

42−59; >Summary 60−64<
Krista Kodres. Filling The Gap: An Attempt to Analyse Sten Karling’s Theoretical Views on Art

The article focuses on the history of Estonian art history writing, examining the older written scholarly heritage of Sten Karling. The author analyses the art theoretical ideas that influenced Karling’s research, and discusses Karling’s texts and activities as the basis for art history studies in Soviet Estonia.

65−77; >Summary 78−82<
Helen Bome
. Stone-Carvings of the Tree of Life? Some Considerations on Interpreting Medieval Visual Culture

This article discusses three stone reliefs from sixteenth-century Tallinn. The reliefs were previously treated by four eminent Estonian art historians − Sten Karling, Armin Tuulse, Mai Lumiste and Helmi Üprus. Their modes of seeing and describing the reliefs, evaluations of artistic quality and hypotheses concerning the meaning of the motifs depicted are compared. Clearly these are very different and even contradictory, depending on the researchers’ personal tastes and methodological tools, as well as the historically determined ideological background at the time of publication. Contemporary ways of approaching the artifacts in question and interpreting their iconography are proposed by the author.

83−95; >Summary 96−99<
Jüri Hain. Villem Raam as an Art Critic

The article discusses the emergence of Villem Raam (1910−1996) as an art historian in 1938−1941, observing his remarkable activities as an art critic and reviewer of art exhibitions, and his work in the field of art history, primarily in developing further and specifying the treatment of Ants Laikmaa’s and Jaan Koort’s works.

Katrin Kivimaa, Andres Kurg, Mari Laanemets, Virve Sarapik. Panel Discussion: On Implications of New Art History in Estonian Context


James Elkins.
Art History as a Global Discipline.
Translated by Ingrid Ruudi