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The Art Museum of Estonia was established in 1919 as an institution tasked with collecting cultural history, ethnographic, archaeological, as well as scientific materials and making them available to the public and researchers. This wide mission has also been captured in several of the pieces which were added to the collections of the museum in its first decades. Baltic-German painter and lithographer Gustav Adolf Hippius’s Estonian Bride, for example, is one of the earliest preserved images of an Estonian peasant bride. Painted in 1852, this classic piece of Estonian art can also be approached as an ethnographic document from the birth of photography in Estonia. Even though the bride, being of peasant origin, may appear fantastical with her intricate necklaces and an ostrich feather attached to her head covering, according to the art historian Voldemar Vaga, the portrait is ‘realistic in the full meaning of the word’.