Juhan Kangilaski, born on May 19, 1904, in Valma, was introduced to the world of arts early on. Hailing from a family of farmers, he was fortunate to receive formal training at the Tallinn Art School, specializing in graphics.
In 1923, Juhan embarked on a journey to study painting at Pallas. By 1925, he had already started crafting cartoons for the Sparks newspaper. Concurrently, he showcased his prowess by selling sketches to the prominent Sakalas newspaper.
The decades of the 30s to the 50s saw him diversifying his talents. Juhan played a dual role as a decorator and eventually the director at the Viljandi Drama Theater. Yet, he never distanced himself from his passion for cartoons, continuing his contributions to major Estonian newspapers.
After the upheavals of the Second World War, Juhan relocated to Tallinn. This phase marked his stint as an illustrator, where he skillfully designed posters. In the twilight of his career, the 1970s to be precise, he served at the Tallinn Environmental Protection Agency. Not one to be confined to a singular path, he simultaneously ventured into the Estonian State Puppet Theatre. Here, he directed seven remarkable plays that bore testimony to his unparalleled creativity.
Today, art enthusiasts can experience and purchase Juhan Kangilaski’s masterpieces at the esteemed Rios Art Gallery.