The Estonian Society for Nature Conservation was founded on November 4, 1966. The society has its own flag, logo, badge and awards celebrating merits. The value of the society is that it has maintained a large membership in a nationwide network of departments.
Jaan Eilart (1933–2006) – a great man of our natural and cultural history – had great merits in founding the society and its rapid rise to a mass popular movement. His knowledge, organizational skills. The excellent talent of speeches and writers and the broad approach to nature conservation as a cultural phenomenon brought outstanding cultural figures to the founders of the society: Fr. Tuglas, G. Reindorff, M. Laarmann, L. Rummo, A. Lauter, V. Panso, D. Vaarandi, V. Tormis and others, at whose inspiration the society grew into an Estonian-minded people’s association with 23,000 members.
Jaan Eilart was known as a botanist, phenologist, plant geographer, biologist, conservationist, cultural and scientific historian, as well as a bibliophile, publicist, home researcher and art enthusiast. Eilart skillfully associated nature conservation and culture with knowing his homeland. The Estonian Society for Nature Conservation, together with the heritage protection movement, had an impact on national processes in Estonia in the 1980s.
Jaan Kaplinski has written about Eilart: “There are few people in Estonia who, during the difficult and difficult Soviet times, were able to do so much to preserve our national culture, to raise people’s awareness of their country, history and culture. Jaan Eilart undoubtedly belongs to the ranks of Estonian great men together with such people as Jakob Hurt, Villem Reimann and Jaan Tõnisson. ”
In 2021, the Estonian Society for Nature Conservation will celebrate its 55th birthday, one of the opening events of which will be an art exhibition at the Kuressaare Town Hall Gallery “The World Held by Jaan Eilart”, followed by exhibitions and events in different parts of Estonia. The exhibition is based on the art collection of the Estonian Society for Nature Conservation, which is based on the works bequeathed to the society by Jaan Eilart.
The ELKS art collection includes 250 works, including nearly 200 graphic pages and numerous ex-libris by Kaljo Põllu, Ilmar Torn, Vive Toll, Herald Eelma and others.
The ELKS painting collection includes works by Aleksander Suuman, Juhan Muksi, Elmar Kitse, Hans Viidalepa and many other well-known Estonian authors. The organizers thank the Tallinn Department of the Estonian Society for Nature Conservation and Toomas Tiivel, a member of the board of ELKS, for their significant contribution to organizing and systematizing the art collection and the Saaremaa Parish Government for their help in preparing the exhibition. Special thanks to Anti Roosta for technical assistance.
Gallery name: Kuressaare Town Hall gallery
Address: Tallinna tn. 2, Kuressaare 93819, Kuressaare
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 10:00 - 17:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00
Open: 16.01.2021 - 13.02.2021