The collection consists of 266 paintings. The collection is rather erratic since there has been no organised replenishment. The collection includes paintings from the University’s subdivisions, consignment shops, donations, gifts and special orders for the University’s 350th anniversary.
Most of the collection consists of the works of Estonian artist during the Soviet Era, which was donated to the Museum by Estonian Art Foundation in 1976–1984. We display the works of Edgar Valter, Alo Hoidre, Jüri Kask, Lola Liivat-Makarova, Kristiina Kaasik, Enn Põldroos, Rein Mets, Ilmar Malin, Ludmilla Siim, Malle Leis, Ants Viidalepp, Enn Tegova, Rein Tammik, Jüri Arrak, Jaan Elken and many others.
The University ordered a collection of portraits of the University’s Rectors from Ilmar Malin, which was finished in 1982. Later additions include Jüri Arrak’s portraits of Chancellor J. Skytte, Rector J. Kärner, Professors P. Tulviste and J. Lotman.
Art from the beginning of the Republic of Estonia is represented by E. Ole’s “Autumn Melody”, J. Krims’ “Still-life with violin”, still-lifes by N. Espe and A. Vardi, A. Jansen’ “Muhu village” and P. Raud’s “Portrait of Professor Põld”.
The collection includes ESSR State Art Institute diploma works: N. Romanov’ “Tsaar Ivan IV pärisoriste kahurimeistrite juures” (Tsar Ivan IV visiting bondslave canon makers) and A. Rammo’s “The Fiddler”.
The gifted paintings include W. F. Krüger’s copy of A. can Dyck’s “Portrait of Nicolas Lanier”, given to the Museum by Associate Professor V. Põkk, J. Uiga’s watercolour nudes, given by M. Lepp, and a portrait of Professor Peeter Arumaa, given to the Museum by his descendants. The portrait is the work of A. Vardi.
Some of the 19th century painting were acquired from antique sales or given to the Museum by the Department of Economics. The painting collection includes works by 19th century Baltic German artists and E. Ole’s “Autumn Melody” from the Pallas school. Other authors include I. Malin, J. Arrak, L. Siim, E. Põldroos, etc.