The thing about things

In this exhibition you can see the things that arrived to Hiiumaa Museum between 2013–2018. In total, the museum acquired about 1800 items during these years, but even more were rejected. What are the values which determine if an item should be accepted for the collection or not?

Hiiumaa Museum acquires things that have a strong connection to our island, to its culture at large. Things, that have a historical, ethnographic, scientific or community value. We are interested in the typical or, on the contrary, rare things. We appreciate things that have a story, a well-documented origin.

Here we exhibit things that differ in their essence, condition and story, to show how diverse are the ways in which an item arrives to the museum’s collection. But always, at a certain point the museum has to decide: should we take it or leave it?

Before you continue, look at these two briefcases below. Should they complement the collection, or go back to the attic were they came from? What makes them different, is one better than the other? Actually, we know nothing about the left one – it is just an old briefcase. While the right one belonged to the renown teacher Evald Teras, and this briefcase has its story. That is why we acquired this item in 2017 (collection ID HKM 6384:1).

Older photographs in the exhibition come from the museum and private collections. The author of recent photographs is Toomas Kokovkin.