Leetaru, Ilse, Papers

Finding Aid


IHRC Archives

Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Dates: 1909-2001
Abstract: Biography, correspondence, scrapbooks, poetry by Alexander Kõpper, catalogues, newspaper clippings, mother's biography, periodicals, abacus, dreams descriptions booklet. Newspaper "Sirp"
Quantity: 5 linear in.
Language: Estonian, English
Collection ID: IHRC3730


Collection transferred to the IHRC from the Estonian Archives in the U.S.A. (EAU) in 2003-2005. It was processed as part of a collaborative project between the Estonian Archives in the USA (Lakewood, New Jersey), the National Archives of Estonia (NAE), and the IHRC in March 2012. Gristel Ramler and Tiina Trumberg of the National Archives in Tallinn, Estonia, worked with IHRC staff on the project.


Leetaru, Ilse (nee Kõpper) Oct. 27. 1915 Tallinn, Estonia – Dec. 09. .2006 New York, USA

Fashion designer, graphic artist, artist, art collector 1933 graduated from the Kaarli Secondary Science Gymnasium (Kaarli Reaalgümnaasium) in Tallinn, Estonia, where her drawing teacher was the Estonian painter Kristjan Raud.1933 – 1936 studied in Artur Lemba piano class in Tallinn Conservatory, Leetaru did not finish her studies. 1936 studied in Home Economics Institute (Kodumajanduse Instituut) in Estonia. 1944 emigrated to Germany with her family. 1948 – 1949 studied fashion illustration in Deutsche Meisterschule für Mode (Munich, Germany), did not finish studies. 1949 she went to New York, USA. 1959 – 1963 School of Visual Arts (New York, USA), graduated as a fashion designer. Thereafter she studied painting and printmaking at various schools in New York including the Art Students League and the New School. 1966 attended an extension course in Academie de la Grande Chaumiere (France). Since 1970 Ilse Leetaru devoted her interest to graphic arts and works in New York as a printmaker. Board member in the Estonian Culture Fund in USA, honorary member of the New York Estonian Education Society, from 1973 member of National Association of Women Artists. Has supported the Estonian Art Museum and Tartu Art Museum, donated her art collection to Estonian museums. 2004 exhibition „Gifted Art“ in Tartu Art Museum.

Husband: Dr. Edmund E. Leetaru (20.03.1910 Tallinn, Estonia – 13.07.1995 New York, USA) married in 1936 Sons: Tõnis (1940) and Hannes (1953)

Awards: Estonian Culture Fund (USA) – award for outstanding creative work (1993) League Duncan Gallery "Prix de Paris" bronze medal (France) (1981) National Association of Women Artists. 1st prize (1978) National Association of Women Artists (1998) National Association of Women Artists (2000) League Duncan Gallery "Prix de Paris" award (France) for work "Waters/Weeds" (1978) League Duncan Gallery "Prix de Paris" award (France) (1976) Laureate of Estonian Cultural Society (1994) About Ilse Leetaru: Reets, Paul H. Ilse Leetaru graafikast. // Tulimuld (Lund, Rootsi), 1979, nr. 4, p. 211-214. Eesti graafikud. Stockholm, 1980. p. 32-33. Eesti kunsti ja arhitektuuri biograafiline leksikon. Tln., 1996. p. 254. http://estarts.ca/artist.php?id=12&ssource=true#sources



Archive consists of 10 folders.


The Leetaru, Ilse collection is available for public research.


The Leetaru, Ilse collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRC Archives.


The Leetaru, Ilse Papers, Estonian American Collection, IHRC Archives, University of Minnesota


IHRC3720 Leetaru, Edmund

IHRC3708 Leetaru, Hannes

Index Terms

Displaced persons

Detailed Description of the Collection

BOX 1.

FOLDER 1. Ilse Leetaru's personal documents: student manual from Tallinn Kaarli Secondary Science School, student card from Tallinn Conservatory, diploma from a tailoring school in Munich, questionnaires for lexicons 1922-1948, 1980s
FOLDER 2. Letters from Eduard Viiralt, Endel Kõks, Aleksis Rannit, Eerik Haamer, Rasmus Raud etc. 1944-1986
incl. a photo of Elviina Raud with children from 1930s
FOLDER 3. Copy of a manuscript of Ilse Leetaru's lecture in Estonian House in Sept. 2000
FOLDER 4. Biographical information about Ilse Leetaru: biographies, copies of lexicons, newspaper clippings, newspaper and magazines consisting articles about Ilse Leetaru 1978-1993
FOLDER 5. Ilse Leetaru's exhibition catalogues and invitations 1978-2001
FOLDER 6. Prints and newspaper clippings about Estonian artists 1982-1999
FOLDER 7. Newspaper clippings (photos from newspapers) collected by Ilse Leetaru in the 2nd half of 1920s; advertisement poster of Eesti Turist 1937 1927-1937
photos of views of Estonia, beauty pageants, views from abroad, film actors etc.
FOLDER 8. Ilse Leetaru's father Aleksander Kõpper's poems to his future wife Pauline, written while he was in the Polish army in 1909. Pauline's brother Mihkel Laas' poems are at the end of the blotter 1909-1912? 1909-1912?
FOLDER 9. Biography of Ilse Leetaru's mother Pauline Kõpper (nee Laan), re-written by Ilse Leetaru in 1974. Ilse Leetaru's father's letters to her mother from the army 1911-1913. Ilse's birthday card to her mother in the 1920s
FOLDER 10. "Uus Egiptuse, Pärsia ja Kaldea tarkade unenägude seletaja..." Nõmme 1929; mini-abacus