The University of Tartu Art Museum is one of the oldest museum in
Estonia being founded in 1803. The Museum was established in the
University in order to illustrate lectures and develop the students'
taste for art.
The Museum as founded by its first director, Prof Karl Morgenstern
(1770-1852), had a wide variety of collections, mirroring the principles
of the Enlightenment and displaying various forms of art and the
art of different countries. In the middle of the 19th century, the
Museum was renamed the Museum of Classical Antiquities with its
emphasis only on ancient art. The Museum was opened to the general
public outside the academic circles in 1862 and thereby acquired
a greater significance. The Museum moved to its present location
in the left wing of the University Main Building in 1868.
Since 1998, the Museum bears its former name – The University
of Tartu Art Museum, and in addition to ancient art, visitors can
have a look at exhibitions displaying other collections of the Museum
and contemporary Estonian art.
Karl Morgenstern (1770-1852)
Gerhard v. Kügelgen 1808