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Building design history. Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design

Lobjakas, Kai;


Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design (EMAAD) presents an interesting case in Estonian design history from several aspects including the reception of applied art and design in the Soviet Union, as well as institutional changes related to it from the mid-1950s onwards. Relying on the example of the EMAAD I will give an overview of how and in which context developed the ideas of finding and building up a museum focused on collecting and preserving material related to applied art and design. The starting point for this contextualisation lies in the institutional system of Soviet art. I will follow the changing attitudes towards applied art and design over the course of time in order to explain how these processes played a role in the formation of the museum and its collections. If in the 1950s discussions on the reorganisation of everyday life were based on handicrafts and applied art, then from the mid 1960s however industrialisation and the changed course in the production of mass consumer goods brought to the centre the notions of industrial art and design. Parallelly with these processes in the society, there emerged discussions on the necessity to establish a museum specialized on applied art, discussions that were related to applied art becoming a popular genre in representing Estonian culture in the all-Soviet exhibitions, from the second half of the 1950s onwards. The rigid separation between applied art and design that emerged in the 1960s, led to the institutionalisation of applied art (the museum becoming one of the means for this) and a general neglect of design during the late-Soviet period. It is only in the late 1990s and early 2000s, that design has re-appeared as a popular subject in the society, allowing now to take a new look also at the material from the Soviet period.


Palavras-chave: applied art, design, Soviet Estonia, industrial art, design museum,


DOI: 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0043

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Como citar:

Lobjakas, Kai; "Building design history. Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design", p. 321-326 . In: Tradition, Transition, Tragectories: major or minor influences? [=ICDHS 2014 - 9th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies]. São Paulo: Blucher, 2014.
ISSN 2318-6968, DOI 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0043

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