Sculpture park set to open in Tartu's Raadi Manor

Raadi Manor sculpture park.
Raadi Manor sculpture park. Source: Anu Ansu

A sculpture park is set to open at 4 p.m. on August 19 in the grounds of Tartu's Raadi Manor. The park will feature works by sculptors Anton Starkopf, Ernst Kirs, Aulin Rimm and Rein Rannast.

The new sculpture park will contain 16 pieces taken from the collection of the Tartu Art Museum. "These are works that, due to their weight and character, are meant to be exhibited outdoors. It's great that (these) sculptures, which have been waiting in the repository for decades will now be available to the public," said Joanna Hoffmann, director of the Tartu Art Museum.

Ten of the sculptures were created by Anton Starkopf (1889-1966), one of the founders, and later rector, of Tartu's Pallas Art School. Other works include those by Starkopf's student and assistant Ernst Kirs (1936-1994), portraitist Aulin Rimm (1930-1999) and sculptor Rein Rannast (1928-2016). 

Conceptually, the sculpture park is divided into three parts. Four classical sculptures of female figures run along the path parallel to the park wall, while busts of well-known cultural figures are on either side of the main gate.

According to Kertu Saksa, director of the Estonian National Museum (ERM), the historical background of Raadi Manor Park makes it an ideal home for the sculptures, as the last nobles who owned the manor, the von Liphard family, were also great art collectors.

A selection of sculptures from the collection of the Tartu Art Museum has adorned the University of Tartu's Botanical Garden for decades. In the late 1980s, plans were floated for a sculpture park on Vallikraavi tänav, on the slope behind the modern-day Methodist Church. However, the plans never came to fruition following the collapse of the Soviet regime.

The new sculpture park at Raadi Manor will be open to visitors daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. from August 19.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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