Exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the literary group Siuru
Siuru – an expressionist and neo-romantic literary group founded in 1917 in Estonia – celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017. In order to celebrate the occasion, Under and Tuglas Literature Centre organised an exhibition at the Estonian National Library. At this virtual exhibition a selection of works which were presented at the main exhibition are displayed.
2017 celebrated the 100th anniversary of the literary group Siuru. The group was active for a short period, but its influence on the diversification and enlivening of the literary scene was so significant that the achievements of that time would become reflected in the literary life of several decades to follow. Powerful emergence of new talents, explosive publishing activities and an example-setting attitude to the fashioning of literary production was what marked this extraordinary period in our cultural life. The six authors who initially formed the group included Friedebert Tuglas, Marie Under, August Gailit, Henrik Visnapuu, Johannes Semper and Artur Adson. Tuglas was the only one who had a reputation as a writer, Gailit had authored one book, and for the rest, the Siuru period meant publishing their first works in a book format. Due to personal discord, Gailit and Visnapuu left Siuru and were later replaced by August Alle and Johannes Barbarus who also published their first works during their Siuru period.
The sequence of events dedicated to Siuru’s 100th anniversary contained an exhibition organised upon the occasion by the Under and Tuglas Literature Centre in the main exhibition hall of the Estonian National Library. All the works of all the Siuru members published in the period were displayed at the exhibition, with the visual emphasis on their artistic design. The author of the Siuru stamp Nikolai Triik was one of the best-known Estonian artists of the time, and Ado Vabbe who was to become Siuru’s “signature artist“ gained a wider recognition mainly through designing albums and books by the Siuru members. The exposition also included contemporary portrait and group photographs of the Siuru members, portrait sketches and accompanying epigrams.