Riga Estonian Students’ Society
Riga Estonian Students' Society, 1909. EAM.16.4.71
The Riga Polytechnic Institute became one of the most important providers of technical education in the 19th and 20th centuries, where well-known Estonian architects, engineers, industrialists and others studied. At that time, it was one of the closest schools for studying architecture next to the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. The Tallinn Technical School (Tallinna Tehnikum) was established not until 1918. By the new century, there were already many Estonian students at the Riga Polytechnic Institute that several corporations were formed to unite the students. The picture probably shows the founders of the Riga Estonian Students’ Society (later the Student Society Liivika), which was formed in 1909. These young students are future architects, engineers and industrialists who have greatly influenced Estonian society. According to their educational background, they were later called “riialased”, the Rigans.
Sitting Left to the Right: architect Anton Soans, Anton Uesson – the later mayor of Tallinn and Karl Treumann (Tarvas). Standing Left to the Right: Karl Feldmann (?), Architect Aleksander Bürger, banker Heinrich Väljamäe, engineer Konstantin Zeren, lawyer Voldemar Tomson, Peeter Sisask (?). The photo was purchased from an antique shop in 2020. Text: Sandra Mälk
Album of Villa Ammende
Harald Krannhals, 1926. EAM 1.2.43
The newest addition to the museum collection is related to the well-known Art Nouveau villa in Estonia. The album of Villa Ammende in Pärnu (architect Frithiof Mieritz, 1904) is exceptional not only for its photos of large variety of exteriors and interiors but as well as for some of the pictures taken from unusual places such as the kitchen with its staff, backyard and greenhouse depicting fruity grapes. The album shows the life and living manners of the family of a prosperous merchant displaying splendid furniture, textiles and items.
The album, lately owned by Irina Mirkov – the grandchild of Hermann Leopold Ammende – was put together for selling the house. Mr Ammende, an established merchant from Pärnu, commissioned the building from an architecture office in St Petersburg called Mieritz & Gerassimov for the wedding party of his daughter Ellen. After the festivities, the family used the luxurious house as a summer cottage until moving back to Germany in 1927.The pictures taken in 1926 are made by Harald Krannhals, the photographer from Pärnu. Addition to his work are pictures taken by Mihkel Õnnis some years later. Altogether 21 photos show some typical deteriorations happen in time. The dim areas of the photos have spots of silver coating. The album was given to the museum by Aivar Roosaar, who was involved in restoration of the villa (1995–1999). The gift shall be a befitting addition to the original project previously given to the museum (EAM 1.2.11). Text: Sandra Mälk
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