Open today 11–18

Photograph collection

The Museum of Architecture’s photograph collection took shape in connection with the launch of exhibitions in 1991. The photographs commissioned specifically for an exhibition on Estonian architect Eugen Sacharias became the first items in the collection.

The collection now contains about 30,000 items. The collection sees healthy growth each year on the strength of commissioned works, purchases and donations. Major additions to the collection have come from the Estonian Association of Architects, the editorial offices of Sirp cultural newspaper, the Museum of Finnish Architecture and practising architects and people connected to the profession.

The oldest part of the photograph collection is made up of postcards from the early 20th century and valuable photographs from the 1920s and 1930s. One of the gems of the collection is an album, bound in a luxurious binding, of state buildings from the interwar-era Republic of Estonia, compiled in the late 1930s.

The most extensive part of the collection is comprised by photographs from the Soviet period – most from the state engineering design offices Eesti Projekt, Eesti Maaehitusprojekt and Tsentrosoyuzprojekt. There are also representative photograph albums from the beginning of the same period.

The Museum of Architecture has systematically ordered photograph shoots for various exhibitions. A large part of the collection is made up of special commissions from photographers such as Peeter Säre, Rein Vainküla, Toomas Kohv, Kaido Haagen, Toomas Tuul, Martine Siplane and Reio Avaste.

The main part of the collection is grouped by location and address. Shots of projects, furniture, exhibitions and events and portrait photographs of architects are organized according to a separate system. A separate part of the collection is made up of pictures of exhibitions, opening ceremonies and other events held at the museum.

Besides the photograph collection, the fonds devoted to various individuals in the archive collection also include photographs.