Artist on the pier. Ship portraits by Friedrich Tammik  

15.09.2023

At the heart of this exhibition is a lost tradition – ship portraits. Paintings of beloved ships were usually commissioned with pride by captains, ship owners or crew. This tradition was already established during the mid-18th century in Mediterranean port cities. Artists had to quickly produce technically precise artworks that met the client’s requirements, often working on the quayside. Due to working in ports ship-portrait painters are also known in Britain as ‘pierhead painters’.   

The tradition of pierhead painting, came to Estonia by sea. Friedrich Tammik (ca 1879–1947) was one of the most prolific painters of ship portraits. The art collection of the Estonian Maritime Museum boasts more than 20 paintings by this former sailor with a mysterious life story. The paintings of Tammik can also be found in the collections of other memory institutions and in private collections.  

The majority of the paintings were created between 1920 and 1940 and portray sailboats and steamships from both Estonia and abroad. The exhibition showcases a selection of works by the ship-portrait painter, Friedrich Tammik, sourced from the art collection of the Estonian Maritime Museum, the collection of the Hiiumaa Museum and from private collections.  

Näituse meeskond / Exhibition team 

Kuraator / Curator: Laura Jamsja 

Projektijuht / Project Manager: Kadi Karine 

Graafiline disain / Graphic design: Kärt Talvik (Fly Illustration OÜ) 

Tõlked ja keeletoimetus / Translations and editing: Hille Saluäär, Toimetaja tõlkebüroo 

Ehitus / Construction: Siltau Systems OÜ 

Tehnilised lahendused / Technical solutions: Tõnis Veltman, Valter Vaht 

Maalide paigaldus / Installation of paintings: Villu Plink 

Trükk / Printing: OÜ Digitrükk 

Turundus ja kommunikatsioon / Marketing and communication: Jaano-Martin Ots, Iris Tomson 

Eriline tänu / Special thanks to:  Jevgeni Pirsi, Enriko Talvistu, Peeter Talvistu, Jaanus Idla  

Ruth Ristmägi, Andres Eero, Oksana Leontjeva, Sander Jürisson, Teele Saar, Feliks Gornischeff, Kadri Kuusk (SA Hiiumaa Muuseumid), Bruno Pao, Indrek Hinrikus (Tallinna Linnaarhiiv), Darja Jefimova (SA Eesti Kunstimuuseum), Rein Albri, Priit Lätti, Laura Maide, Roman Matkiewicz, Alar Truu, SA Eesti Vabaõhumuuseum Konserveerimis- ja digiteerimiskeskus Kanut, Raamiruum OÜ, Meeli-Heli Lepna, Urmas Dresen 

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Bookings:+372 6200 550 (Mon–Fri 9–17), except on national holidays
booking@meremuuseum.ee
Vesilennuki tee 6, Tallinn

Open Museum ships Suur Tõll and Valvas are open Fri-Sun from 10 am to 6 pm. The Seaplane Harbour hangar will open May 12th 2024.

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