We advised the Estonian Artists Association on restoring legal and historical continuity with the Estonian Center of Visual Artists and changing the founding date of the union from 1943 to 1922, similar to other Estonian creative associations.

Central organisation uniting Estonian artists

The Association of Estonian Visual Artists was founded in Tallinn as a central organisation uniting Estonian professional artists. The first steps to unite Estonian artists who studied art in St. Petersburg were made by the Noor-Eesti (Young Estonia) group in Tartu and the Art Society in Tallinn. In the years that followed, the Central Association became the largest artists’ organisation uniting Estonian artists and recognized as a partner by the state. Until the Second World War began.

The central association was liquidated after the coup of 1940. On January 4, 1943, by order of the Soviet government, the Union of Estonian Soviet Artists was founded in Yaroslavl (by artists gathered in the rear). This was the name of the union until 1957, when it was renamed the ENSV Artists’ Union. It continued to operate as the Estonian Artists Association from 1990, but the legal connection with the original central association was not restored for the time being.

One of the biggest creative unions in Estonia

The Estonian Artists Association is one of the largest creative unions in Estonia with 998 members (as of 14.03.2023) and 18 sub-unions. The purpose of the association is to develop the art field, protect the interests of artists, curators, art researchers and art workers, and support creative activities. The Union participates in shaping cultural policy and in sectoral development activities and is the owner and developer of the largest art infrastructure aimed at professional artists in Estonia and a provider of production and presentation environments for active artists.

Our services and client team

As a part of the matter, we prepared a memo for the client, including an analysis of the legal continuity of the union, requiring legal analysis of the historical documents, including the ones stored in the National Archives, to establish potential connections to the previously existed unions and associations of artists.

The analysis was based on the evaluation of certain aspects that are used for establishing legal continuity of the states as there are no specific rules for establishing legal continuity of the organisations. As a result of such analysis we arrived at the conclusion that it was possible for the client to decide on legal continuity with the Estonian Center of Visual Artists established in 1922. The client reviewed our analysis and decided to declare continuity with the Estonian Center of Visual Artists, and change the date of foundation of the EAA to 1922

The client team was led by counsel Piret Lappert and also included partner Karin Madisson and assistant lawyer Katariina Kuum.