Tooming, Peter 1939-

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TOOMING, Peter 1939-

PERSONAL: Born June 1, 1939, in Rakvere, Estonia; married Sirje Ong, 1963; children: Lee. Education: Attended State University of Tartu, 1968-74.

ADDRESSES: Home—Harju 1-7, Tallinn 200 001, Estonia.

CAREER: Photographer, cinematographer, and documentary filmmaker. Producer of films and television productions; director of documentary films. Founded Lee (photo gallery), 1993. Exhibitions: Works included in permanent collections of Municipal Museum, Tallinn, Estonia; Photography Museum, Siauliai, Lithuania; Australian Photographic Society; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France; and other institutions. Solo exhibitions include Selected Photos, University of Kaunas, Kaunas, Lithuania, 1967; A Summer's Story, Kiek in de Kök, Tallinn, 1972; One Day's Story, Kiek in de Kök, 1977; Selected Photos, Urania-Schaufenstergalerie, Vienna, Austria, 1980; Nude and Nature, Kiek in de Kök, 1984; and Sun Games, Kiek in de Kök, 1992. Group exhibitions include Fotoforum 73, Ruzomberok, Czechoslovakia, 1973; Stodom, Dom Kultury ROH, Pribor, Czechoslovakia, 1980; and The Memory of Images, Stadgalerie im Sophienhof, Kiel, Germany, 1993.

MEMBER: Stodom.

AWARDS, HONORS: Award for best cinematography, Film Festival of Tallinn, 1980; first prize, Rakvere Film Festival, 1983; special prize, Film Festival of Tallinn, 1986; special prize, Nature Film Festival, 1993.


25 Fotot, Eesti Raamat (Tallinn, Estonia), 1975.

Rakvere, Eesti Raamat (Tallinn, Estonia), 1976.

Fotolood, Eesti Raamat (Tallinn, Estonia), 1979.

Peatu, meenuta, Eesti Raamat (Tallinn, Estonia), 1980.

Saaremaa, Eesti Raamat (Tallinn, Estonia), 1982.

Foto! Foto? Foto . . . , [Tallinn, Estonia], 1983.

Sina, jogi, [Tallinn, Estonia], 1984.

Sketches from the Past of Estonian Photography, 1840-1940, [Tallinn, Estonia], 1986.

Silvery Way, [Tallinn, Estonia], 1990.

Fifty-five Years Later: Virumaa, Huma (Tallinn, Estonia), 1993.

Highway Attracts, Huma (Tallinn, Estonia), 1993.

Fifty-five Years Later: Saaremaa, Huma (Tallinn, Estonia), 1994.

Contributor to periodicals, including Fotografie.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A History of Estonian Photography.

SIDELIGHTS: Peter Tooming is an Estonian photographer and filmmaker who is known for his poetic imagery, even with regard to his photojournalism. Tooming developed an interest in photography in the 1960s, when the medium found increasing favor among artists in the Soviet Union's Baltic republics. A Contemporary Photographers critic attributed this rise in the popularity of photography in the Baltic states to "the historic artistic culture of the region and its folk art tradition," and Tooming is identified as "an outstanding figure in this significant cultural transformation in . . . Estonia."

In the ensuing years, as Tooming developed proficiency as a photojournalist, his art changed from "emotional symbolism to a kind of vital authenticity," according to the Contemporary Photographers contributor. Even in his photojournalism, however, Tooming has continued to practice a relatively refined artistry. The Contemporary Photographers writer affirmed that he has "not entirely renounced poetic arrangements," and acknowledged "a certain aesthetic quality regarding man's relationship with nature."

Tooming has also won acclaim as a cinematographer and documentary filmmaker. In 1980 he won the prize for best cinematographer at the Film Festival of Tallinn, and in 1986 he received a special prize at the same festival. In addition, he secured a special prize at the 1993 Nature Film Festival held in Sundsvall, Sweden.



Contemporary Photographers, 3rd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.*