Signe Kivi elected director of Tartu Art Museum ({{commentsTotal}})

Signe Kivi will take over as director of Tartu Art Museum in June.
Signe Kivi will take over as director of Tartu Art Museum in June. Source: (Sander Ilvest/Postimees/Scanpix)

Former Minister of Culture and Estonian Academy of Arts rector Signe Kivi will take over as director of Tartu Art Museum on June 26.

Tartu Kunstimuuseumi direktoriks valiti Signe Kivi, kes asub tööle 26. juunil. Muuseumi lähiaegade ülesanne on lisaks mitmekesiste sisutegevuste jätkumisele ka kogude kolimine uutesse Eesti Rahva Muuseumi hoidlatesse.

Ministry of Culture Undersecretary for Cultural Heritage Tarvi Sits acknowledged current museum director Rael Artel, under the guidance of whom the museum has stood out with a strong, multifaceted program.

"The museum's challenge in upcoming years is to speak to different target groups and find partners with whom to organize exhibitions outside of the museum as well," said Sits. "Equally as important is the flow of the institution's everyday work in a situation in which, in order to preserve its art collections, they must be moved from emergency conditions to new repositories at the Estonian National Museum (ERM)."

Speaking about Kivi, Sits highlighed her managerial experience as well as her multifaceted and in-depth knowledge of the arts. Kivi herself added that, thanks to her longtime participation in the Estonian art world, she has a clear understanding of expectations that dominate the field.

"Tartu Art Museum has a special place in our art scene," she said, adding that she definitely planned on continuing the lively program of exhibitions and public and educational events of recent years. "This means cooperation with the museums of the University of Tartu, ERM and city museums but also Tartu's other institutions of art and memory." She also cited as a key task negotiations for the establishment of a museum foundation.

Kivi highlighted the importance of Tartu's traditional art legacy in the planning of the museum's work. "We still have a large audience who appreciates classical art," she noted. "Well-known Pallas-esque features will therefore remain a key feature of our displays."

From the capital to Tartu

In an interview given to ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera," Kivi confirmed that she did not intend to direct the museum from Tallinn. "It is clear that nowadays, one's residence is there, where they work," she said, adding that Estonia is so small that traveling between the two cities is not an issue. "I will be taking the opportunity in this period of my life to change residence and I look forward to what Tartu and its people will give me and what I can accomplish."

Signe Kivi graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts, known then as the Tallinn State Applied Art Institute of the ESSR (ERKI), with a degree in textiles. Since 1988 she has served as a professor at the school. From 1999-2002 she served as Estonia's Minister of Culture, and from 2005-2015 she served as rector of the Estonian Academy of Arts. She is also a member of the Estonian Artists' Association, where she also served as president from 1988-1999.

Kivi will take over as director of Tartu Art Museum on June 26. Rael Artel, the museum's current director, resigned voluntarily from the position.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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