[ENDED] Gunnar Vaidla’s Sports Panorama

For decades, the photographer Gunnar Vaidla did an amazing job in documenting thousands of sports events all around Estonia. He was always there, indoor and outdoor, come summer or winter, rain or shine.

This exhibition gives an overview of his work during the challenging post-war years (1947-1953) when the main focus of Vaidla’s work was on the practical aspects of doing sports. Always attentive and in the front row, little could be hidden from Vaidla’s watchful lens and thanks to him we can now enjoy this candid view of Estonia’s sports scene back in the day when true sportsmanship managed to survive regardless of the adverse conditions and a bizarre (yet true to its time) mix of rather spartan training conditions, grandiose slogans and skimpy outfits.

Vaidla’s eye for detail and gargantuan portfolio makes him a unique visual historian whose prolific work allows us to get a glimpse of what Estonia’s sports landscape was like in the 1940s-50s.

Gunnar Vaidla (1919-2007)

Gunnar Vaidla, who has also been called “Grandfather of Estonian Photography”, got started in sports photography already before the Second World War and stayed true to his trade for the rest of his life. For most of his career he worked for the magazine “Kehakultuur”. The magazine became a cultural phenomena known for its aesthetics and exlusive content largely thanks to Vaidla’s distinctive style which was described as dynamic and dramatic with the everpresent touch of intellectuality.

And now the colossal collection of Gunnar Vaidla’s works have found their rightful place in Estonian Sports and Olympic Museum where they can be preserved, presented and celebrated for years to come.


There are more than 10 interactive attractions in our museum that you just have to try at least once in your life! Check out what fun hands-on activities await you with us! 
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Sports and Olympic Museum exhibitions include a permanent exhibition with attractions, fun hands-on exhibition about extreme sports and Estonian Hall of Fame.
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Hall of Fame

The most spectacular part of our museum where we honour the greatest athletes and sports influencers of Estonian sports. 
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