Voldemar Haas (1889–1982)

Haas, Voldemar (1889–1982). Landscape with a river. (Late 1960's - early 1970)

Voldemar Haas, born in 1898 in the Livonian province of the Russian Empire, is a figure of significance in the world of Estonian art. Between 1919 and 1923, Haas pursued his artistic journey at the Pallas Higher Art School in Tartu. During this period, he was mentored by the renowned Estonian painter, Ado Vabbe. Simultaneously, Voldemar was associated with the Estonian National Museum.

After his graduation, Haas donned the hat of a stage designer for the Vanemuine local theater, contributing to its aesthetics until 1937. His association with theater didn’t end there. Between 1936 to 1956, he enriched the Estonian National Theatre with his artistic sensibilities.

An educator at heart, Voldemar Haas imparted his knowledge at the Art Institute of the Estonian SSR from 1940. Post-war, in collaboration with artist Natalia Mei, he pioneered the Faculty of Theater Arts at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Between 1944 and 1967, Haas taught at the Tallinn State Institute of Applied Arts, even achieving the esteemed professorship. Notably, one among his proteges was Eldor Renter.

Voldemar’s artistic flair wasn’t confined to canvas alone. He delved into pictorial and three-dimensional decoration, creating mesmerizing scenery for plays like The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a decorator, he masterfully designed performances like “Mazepa”, “Red Flower”, and “Coast of Storms”. His remarkable contributions earned him the titles of “Honored Art Worker of the Estonian SSR”, the Stalin Prize, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and the revered People’s Artist of the Estonian SSR.

After leading a life dedicated to art, Voldemar Haas bid adieu in 1982. His final resting place is the Forest Cemetery. Recently, art aficionados have the opportunity to purchase his paintings online through the Riosart Gallery.