With Yardstick, Plummet and Ink. Archival drawings from the National Heritage Board



12.10. – 16.12.2018

The exhibition gives an overview of the vast collection of drawings held in the archives of the National Heritage Board that haven´t been publicly availa­ble until now. It displays original draw­ings from the 1940s–1980s that depict castles, manors, chapels and other historical buildings are valu­able both as documents and works of art.

Before the restoration works or any other changes of a protected historic building, it is necessary to record its status quo. At first, it requires conducting a systematic study in situ, followed by making a graphical representation based on the survey. Together it forms a clear and comprehensive cornerstone for restoration projects and a crucial source of information in case the building is destroyed. The archival drawings are to this day a superior historical source material for the study of structures and details of old buildings. They also enable the reconstruction of buildings that nowadays are in ruins or vanished. At the same time, the drawings demonstrate the dis­appearing skills of the people who created them and the devotion and persistence it required.

While at the end of the last century the technical drawer had to be equally proficient in measuring complicated details with a simple measuring tape and making detailed drawings by hand, nowadays the digital solutions (like laser scanning and 3D models) have made the job easier, quicker and more accessible.

„Making the drawings was
by no means a clean and
easy job ― pigeon droppings
while measuring and ink
stains while drawing“,

says Merle Kinks, an architect. Despite of the messiness, the drawings that were made in the last century with rudimentary measuring equipment and drawn by hand have great aesthetic value.

Riina Hiob, Marju Tann

Sandra Mälk, Karin Merilo

Laura Ingerpuu, Hanna Selvet

Koit Randmäe

Supported by Estonian Cultural Endowment