The idea to establish the Tartu Art Museum was born in the spring of 1938 at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Art Society “Pallas”. According to the initial plan, each member of the society would donate at least one of their works of art to the new museum. The project started in earnest in 1940, when an exhibition was organised from 26 February to 10 March on the premises of the Higher Art School Pallas. This occasion saw the introduction of the museum’s inaugural collection – 124 pieces in all. The Tartu Art Museum was officially founded according to the statute of the City Council on 17 November 1940 at the address Suurturg 3 (the present Town Hall Square). The collections of the museum were moved between several buildings and evacuation sites during World War II. In November 1945, to provide a new home for the museum, work began to refurbish a former dwelling house at Vallikraavi 14, which opened its doors on 2 May 1946. At present this building houses the collections of the museum and the offices of the scientific personnel.
In 1988, the Tartu Art Museum acquired the right to use a freshly restored building in the heart of the town centre, Raekoja Plats 18, the so-called Leaning House. It is a classicist building that leans in a similar manner to the Tower of Pisa. Here the museum displays its permanent exhibition of Estonian art and smaller temporary exhibitions, as well as hosting concerts, lectures and other events.
Raekoja plats 18, Tartu, Estonia (Town Hall Square)
III, V-VII 11.00-18.00, IV 11.00-21.00
T.: 744 1080, 744 1920