|Permanent exposition: Writer Oskar Luts: on the fine line between life and imagination
Welcome to the home of the favourite writer of many generations, a long-time citizen of Tartu and the author of "Kevade", one of the most epic stories of Estonian literature - Oskar Luts (1887-1953).
The house on Riia street was built especially for Oskar Luts' family, by his own request in 1936. He spent the last 17 years of his life living in the house where the house museum was opened in his honour in 1964.
A walk through the house
Oskar Luts wrote a list of novels, short stories, plays and memoirs. 69 of those went to print and many were translated into other languages. To give an overview of Luts' fruitfulness in his literary work, there is a huge wall going through 2 floors that hold the many editions of the writer's best knows novel "Kevade" and others.
The centre of the house and exhibition is Oskar Luts' room with a view to the garden. The room is plain and simple with only a bed, a desk with stationery and books on it and a portrait statue of August Kitzberg on the mantelpiece. A red-covered Cervantes' "Don Quijote" on the shelf and Gogol's "Collected works" on the desk were the two books that always helped him through hard times.
The mythical characters of Luts' books and stories are all present in the exhibition, some of them available for touch and feel. Namely, the creatures from "Nukitsamees", puppets from a puppet play based on the story.
On the first floor of the house is a guest room, where everyone can get the feeling of 19th century Tartu's citizen life: a gramophone, unique curtain hangers, exquisite furniture, a radio, a piano, a weather station and a painting of Oskar Luts' wife and son.
Writer in Tartu
Oskar Luts lived in Tartu, the town of "quiet corners, bells ringing and wind blowing" for more than 40 years: while studying in the local school, in the university and while working in a dispensary (yes, the writer was a pharmacist). His legend began while he was still writing. His first books "Kapsapea" ("Cabbage") and "Kevade" ("Spring") won him a lot of popularity in 1912. By 1930s he was as solidly a part of Tartu as the River Emajõgi (Mother River) or the then-existant Stone Bridge.
He was inspired by the milieu of the centre of the city and also the slums in Tartu and prototyped many of the characters of his books by people he knew in real life. Characters of his stories became mythical in film and theatre while telling Estonia's childhood myth.
The current exhibition also tries to uncover the so far hidden melancholic face of Luts' works, which is something as essential to him as the funny side that everyone knows very well. His way of telling stories was new in his time. His melancholic feelings and warm humour, life-like characters and simple language have been loved by the young and the older for already a century.
Exhibition "Writer Oskar Luts: on the fine line between life and imagination" is a part of Tartu City Museum's historical exposition "Dorpat. Jurjev. Tartu" and is curated by Liivi Rosenvald.
|Oskar Luts Home Museum
EstoniaShow the map
Bus no 1, 3, 18 or 24 from the town centre (bus stop "Lembitu"), or 20 min walkOpening times:
Wednesday - Saturday 11 - 17
full ticket 1 euroContact:
students, seniors 0.50 euro
guided tour (in English) 8 euros
telephone (+372) 746 1030
Visits on Monday and Tuesday should be arranged beforehand, by email or phone (see above).
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