Art life in Estonia is diverse and active. The art field consists primarily of freelance creative people as well as voluntary and private institutions. The Art Hall Foundation is the only state-funded foundation.

In 2018, a total of 864 art exhibitions took place in 92 exhibition venues throughout Estonia, of which 184 featured foreign artists and curators.

In addition to the state art museums, the largest art institutions include the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), Estonian Artists' Association galleriesKai Art Centre as well as the Tallinn Art HallTartu Art House, city galleries in the county seats and galleries of various art education institutions.

The role of residencies in the internationalisation of art life and diversification of exhibition activities is increasing.


Art professionals are directly impacted by the Creative Persons and Associations Act, which has been in force since 2005, and among other things, regulates the support for the creative work of freelance artists.

Since 2011, the Commissioning of Artworks Act has been valid in Estonia, whereby the state orders works of art that enrich the public space, the cost of which total up to 1% of the building’s construction costs.


Higher education in the field of art can be acquired at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Pallas College of Art and Tallinn University. The Tartu Art School operates as a vocational education institution providing art education.

In the hobby field of hobbies, art schools, along with music schools, are one of the largest providers of systemic hobby education. There are 44 hobby schools in Estonia, where art is taught.

Art Journalism

The magazine (in both Estonian and English) is published four times a year under the auspices of the Kultuurileht Foundation. is the only art and visual culture magazine in the local language that focuses on the contemporary art scene in Estonia and various aspects of visual culture.

Twice a year, the Estonian Institute publishes the English-language publication Estonian Art.

The work of the photographers is covered by the magazine Positiiv.

Academic art history is developed on the pages of the peer-reviewed journal Studies on Art and Architecture.

Art reviews are regularly published in the cultural journals Sirp and Müürileht. In the privately-owned media, art reviews and article about art appear in Areen, an Eesti Ekspress supplement, as well as in the Postimees and Eesti Päevaleht.

Estonian art and visual culture magazine


Maria-Kristiina Soomre

Adviser (Arts)

Last updated: 12.12.2020