You simply have to be modern! How Estonians became townspeople

with No Comments

You simply have to be modern! How Estonians became townspeople

In the beginning of the 20th century, Estonian cities developed from cities primarily German in mind and language into Estonian cities.

The modernization of the public sphere in Tartu influenced the quality and way of life in Tartu as well. New furniture, new fashions and tastes reflected the improving standard of living as well as the adoption of European attitudes. At the same time, developing a cultured daily life required constant educative and elucidative work. Old and modern, rich and poor, extremely clean and dirty were all intertwined in the urban landscape of the 1920s and 1930s.

As the writer Bernard Kangro has noted: “Tartu was a way of sensing the world. The term “Tartu” was composed of people, their life and way of thinking and the city in its geographical and historical reality… This was an internally fissured and devided city that externally was a compact unit.”

Curators: Anu Kannike (Estonian National Museum), Madle Uibo and Marge Rennit

Designers: Malle Jürgenson and Krista Lepland (OÜ Laika, Belka & Strelka)

The exhibition was financially supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.