During the last two months our team has been collaborating with Viljandi Museum in order to add to Wikimedia Commons photo bank Estonian photographer Jaan Riet’s (1873-1952) photographs (mostly took in the first decade of the 20th century). As 70 years passed from his death last year, his extraordinarily large collection of wide variety of negatives, black and white group photos and portraits is since the beginning of this year under free CC license available everyone. We made sure at least some of the valuables make it to Wiki as well and so we received more than 30 high-quality photos from the Riet’s collection, preserved in Viljandi Museum’s photo collection. As a result, it’s now possible to check out the creation of one of the most productive Estonian photographer, which were previously absent from Commons all-together.
In addition to this, we had a very fruitful collaboration with Ruhnu Museum, which itself is the most isolated museum in Estonia being located in the middle of Gulf of Riga. Although Ruhnu has only 89 permanent residents (as of 2022), it has a colorful history as the ancestorial home of Ruhnu Swedes, who inhabited the island from the early 13th century until the end of Second World War. During this winter, we in WMEE had the privilege to get a glimpse of some of the Swedish culture still visible today in the museum. As a result we were able to bring under public domain wide range of women’s marriage caps and children’s hats designed to be worn during variety of different events. We also created a virtual exhibition based on the caps and hats so that people eager to find more about the subject could also fill their interest.
You’re welcomed to check out both of the collections by clicking on the following links:
In the begging of February our team came on an idea that fascinated us from the very start: collect photographs of variety of art examples in Estonia’s manor schools and turn them into a virtual and a real life exhibition in October this year! So far the idea has been a hit among different interest groups whom we are trying to include, for an example Association of Estonian Manor Schools. We have since tested the project on Vääna manor school (which operates today in former main building of the manor ensemble) where we took more than 40 photos of various interior decorations with artistic value (inc. ceiling paintings, more than 200 years old restaurated wooden tile floors etc). We continue with the enterprise by contacting more Estonian manor schools which are known to have many well-preserved artistic details!
If you’re interested in checking out our first photoshoot in Vääna manor and would like to take a glance to one of the most beautifully renovated Estonian manor house then click here.