We should be happy if our life span leads us back to our childhood home. So is Kristjan-Henn Riet who has been travelling in the world as geologist, and come back to Viljandi, to his grandfather’s – Jaan Riet’s home. In this doll’s house, designed in National Romantic style by Karl Burman, most of the huge heritage of the photographer Jaan Riet (1873 – 1952) was created.

Among approximately 100 000 photos there are studio shots of humans as well as animals but also breathtaking views of Estonian nature.

Jaan Riet studied photography in Frankfurt, his daughters Elma in Düsseldorf and Hilja in Tartu, at the art school Pallas. At the studio there were two more fairies to help accomplish high standards – the wife of Jaan Riet and her sister Anna. The place of the main model for all the four female photographers was taken by the little prince, Hilja’s son Kristjan-Henn, born in 1944. The whole town knew him, for his golden locks were not sacrificed even for his first schoolday…

The exhibition for Jaan Riet’s 150th anniversary we have compiled mainly of pictures presented at Kondas Centre and at the Museums of Viljandi and Pärnu. My message as the curator is: capture the growth, stumblings and accomplishments of your close ones, until getting back to childhood. Then, in your heart you all might be content – we lived like in a film…

Mark Soosaar

NB! I advise to give cameras to children before they learn to read and write. Mastering audiovisual language, they can choose in their early age what is beautiful, and start to communicate with children of their age all over the world.

The exhibition is formed in cooperation with Kondas Centre, the Museums of Viljandi and Pärnu.

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