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  • Writer's pictureEUCOW

Art collector Matti Milius

Matti Milius died in June 2015, leaving behind, besides his art collection, vivid memories. There is no need to imagine him bigger or more fascinating than he was, unlike many people marginally involved in art. He was thoroughly analysed during his lifetime. As an object of interest of the public media space, he went through the whole gamut of stages, from the darling of the gutter press in the early 1990s to having a personal catalogue written about him as a respected art collector, where he was analysed by the best writers and thinkers: Jüri Ehlvest, Hasso Krull, Mihkel Mutt, Harry Liivrand, Priidu Beier, Ants Juske and Miervaldis Polis. In a later book dedicated to him on his 55th birthday, Milius in Word and Picture (Umara, 2000), the authors were Ervin Õunapuu, Viktor Niitsoo, Tarmo Teder, Eve Pärnaste, Jüri Arrak, Leonhard Lapin, Peeter Tulviste, Gleb Bogomolov, Andrei Monastõrski and others. Before all this, he was targeted by the KGB, but he managed to emerge untarnished, continuing to circulate and copy banned literature.

The main facts related to Milius are linked to the method of his collecting, i.e asking, even begging, artists to donate pictures to his collection. The collection therefore mainly consists of donations that artists deemed necessary to give him. The St Petersburg artist Gleb Bogomolov called Milius Zeus’s nephew and wrote that after the sentence “ja hotchu chtobõ tõ padaril mne etu kartinu” (“I want you to donate this picture to me”) his heart skipped a beat because as Milius was asking, he must have liked it. He donated three pictures...


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