Pilvi Kalhama was Awarded the Konrad Mägi Foundation Prize

Pilvi Kalhama, the directress of the Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA), was awarded this year’s Konrad Mägi Foundation Prize for her important contribution to introducing the life and oeuvre of Konrad Mägi.

The exhibition Konrad Mägi – The Enigma of Painting, which included altogether 150 works from Mägi’s surviving heritage, was held under Pilvi Kalhama’s curation at the EMMA art museum in Espoo from September of 2021 to January of 2022. This was the largest solo exhibition of Mägi’s works of all time. The exhibition drew a great deal of attention. More than 50,000 art enthusiasts visited the exhibition.

The idea and opportunity for the next foreign exhibition already came about at the time of the EMMA exhibition. The exhibition Konrad Mägi – The Enigma of Painting was held at the GL Strand Museum in Copenhagen from March to May of this year, again curated by Pilvi Kalhama.


Konrad Mägi’s solo exhibition will be opened in Lillehammer in November of this year. Pilvi Kalhama, who is also this exhibition’s co-author, has played an invaluable role in making this exhibition possible as well.

When introducing the EMMA exhibition and the catalogue that accompanied it, Pilvi Kalhama said: ‘Through his paintings, Mägi the cosmopolitan conveys that which he saw, experienced, and learned on his travels, always presenting his own version and interpretation of the art movements of his time. This makes his oeuvre fascinating for the viewer of today as well. It is important to highlight talents who worked on the outskirts of art and to understand the multifaceted nature of modernism.

In his soul, Mägi felt like a northerner, but his colour palette was bright and multicoloured in a way that was more typical of Southern Europe. Colouring was of the utmost importance for Mägi as an artist. I would even say that colour was the point of departure for his works. I wish that this exhibition and book will reveal Mägi’s oeuvre to a broader audience both in Finland and on an international scale.’

Thanks to Pilvi Kalhama, Konrad Mägi’s oeuvre really has been more fully revealed to the broader public in Finland as well as in Denmark and soon also in Norway.

The Konrad Mägi Foundation Prize is intended for a person or group that has done a great deal for introducing the life and oeuvre of Konrad Mägi (1878–1925), the most important painter in the history of Estonian art. The Prize has previously been awarded to the film director Marianne Kõrver (2020), the designer Tõnis Saadoja (2019), and the art historian Eero Epner (2018). The amount of the Prize is 5,000 euros.

The festive conferral of the Prize to Pilvi Kalhama took place on 8 October at the Estonian National Museum, where around twenty paintings by Konrad Mägi could be viewed over the course of eight months at the exhibition Beauty of Colours. Golden Age of Estonian Art from the Enn Kunila Collection.