Tallinna Kunstihoone

Republic of Estonia and Five Fates

Talented Estonian artist Märt Laarman (1896-1979)
From birth to death in his homeland

Märt Laarman was one of Estonia’s finest graphic artists and painters. He was characterized by a modernist style and was among the first to create cubist works. Cubism relied on geometric shapes and abandoned narrative content.

Märt Laarman is associated with the Tallinn Art Hall on Freedom Square, where he exhibited at its first show and was also a member of the commission that selected works for the exhibition.

Märt Laarman did not leave Estonia for exile but remained in Tallinn until the end of his life.

In 1951, Märt Laarman was expelled from the Artists’ Union for “creative inadequacy and passive attitude towards events organized by the Artists’ Union of the Estonian SSR”. However, his membership status was reinstated five years later. Persecution affected many of the artists, writers, and other creatives in Soviet Estonia during Stalin’s rule.

Later, Märt Laarman was declared an Honored Artist of the Estonian SSR. During the Soviet era, artists and writers experienced different fates and twists in life. Sometimes they were despised, and at other times they were valued.

Märt Laarman passed away in Tallinn in 1979 without seeing the independence of Estonia.

Muusika. Märt Laarman
Märt Laarman. Music. 1929. Monotype. Estonian Art Museum. EKM j 44069 G 27168


Tallinn Art Hall

The Tallinn Art Hall in front of you was completed in 1934 according to the design by renowned architects Edgar Johan Kuusik and Anton Soans.

The Art Hall is one of the masterpieces of Estonian architecture in the functionalist style. Functionalism, as the name suggests, prioritized the purpose and function of the building above all else. Alongside the beauty of the building, it was crucial to consider who would use it and how. In the case of the Art Hall, large windows were incorporated to ensure that art could be appreciated to its fullest extent.

During its early days, the building appeared very modern, which led to the addition of sculptor Juhan Raudsepp’s statues “Labour” and “Beauty”.


Find the differences at the Tallinn Art Hall compared to its condition in 1939. Access the 3D model of the Art Hall from 1939 in Augmented Reality.




Look for the next QR code around the surroundings of the former EEKSi building with its art-deco-style dolomite facade.

Location of the next QR code