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Press release 19 October 2012

Political protest. Portraits of great men and coats of arms pressed in glass

Exhibition at the National Museum of Finland, 20 October 2012 - 31 March 2013

Lönnrot glass
Lönnrot-glass, Riihimäki glass factory, 1910's. Photo: Pekka Helin, Museum of Central Finland.


Mannerheim great men-glass
Mannerheim great men-glass, Iittala glass factory, 1920. Photo: Pekka Helin, Museum of Central Finland.

The exhibition that was produced by the Museum of Central Finland and is now opening at the National Museum of Finland sheds light on how the period of Russification at the beginning of the 20th century was reflected in Finnish pressed glass items.
The stipulations that restricted Finland's strong sovereignty during the period of autonomy sparked ever-increasing national uproar in the 1890s. The February Manifesto of 1899 escalated the situation and resulted in protests and demonstrations employing concealed symbolism.


The exhibition's glasses and saucers, featuring great men and coats of arms, represent one of the most unique expressions of Finnish national spirit and its historical perspectives. They have also become coveted collector's items. The items in the exhibition have been manufactured by the Karhula, Iittala, Nuutajärvi, Wiiala and Riihimäki glass factories.

At the time, national emblems and symbols, along with pictures and statues related to Finland's past accomplishments, were published and placed on public display. The Finnish glass industry was involved in this demonstration of views by including pressed glass items adorned with the Finnish lion coat of arms, provincial coats of arms and pictures of great men in their product ranges. These products enabled Finns to express their patriotism by means of toddy glasses, sugar bowls, creamers and glass saucers, among other everyday items.

The pressed-glass method was used to bring to the market a large number of drinking glasses adorned with reliefs depicting Finnish great men, such as Elias Lönnrot, J. V. Snellman, J. L. Runeberg and Zachris Topelius. The first of these to see production was the glass carrying Elias Lönnrot's likeness in 1903.

The lion coat of arms and provincial coats of arms decorated the saucers of many glass manufacturers. Items, such as sugar bowls, creamers and even milk jugs, could also sometimes feature coats of arms as decorations. In addition to the Finnish lion and the provincial coats of arms, the national landscape of the Imatrankoski Rapids was immortalised on the side of a glass. These products enabled the middle class to obtain items for the coffee table that were more affordable than silver and crystal.

The items in the exhibition were manufactured by the Karhula, Iittala, Nuutajärvi, Wiiala and Riihimäki glass factories between 1890 and 1948. The Iittala glass factory produced the first Aina and Suomi plates in 1901. Thereafter, the factory launched a sugar bowl, creamer and glasses adorned with the lion motif.

Ivar Wilskman, the man who has been dubbed the father of Finnish sports, appeared on a glass in 1914. His glass was the first to be manufactured to honour a living person. Next in line was C. G. E. Mannerheim - the Commander-in-Chief in the Finnish Civil War and, later, the first regent of the independent Finland - whose portrait was featured in the glass that Iittala began to manufacture in 1920. Due to its rarity, the glass is now a sought-after collector's item.

The exhibition was put together by the Museum of Central Finland, largely based on Ambassador Risto Rekola's vast collection of glass items. The exhibition was on display in Jyväskylä from 21 April to 26 August 2012.

Erkki Fredrikson's publication "Lasiin prässättyä protestia. Suurmieslaseja ja vaakuna-asetteja", which complements the exhibition, is on sale at the Museum Shop of the National Museum of Finland at € 10.

The exhibition will be open at the National Museum of Finland from 20 October 2012 to 31 March 2013, in room 215 on the museum's 2nd floor.

Press photos

 
Additional information:
Curator Erkki Fredrikson, Museum of Central Finland, tel. +358 14 266 4354, erkki.fredrikso(at)jkl.fi

The National Museum of Finland, Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed on Mondays. Closed on 6 December and 24-25 December 2012.
Entry fee € 8.00/ € 6.00, persons under 18 free of charge.
Ticket office tel. +358 40 128 6469, during museum opening hours
www.kansallismuseo.fi




Press release 11 November 2010

Dream Homes  - Dollhouses at the National Museum of Finland

12 November 2010 - 2 September 2012

The kitchen of the Frieman dollhouse from Raahe, dating from the 1860s. Photo: National Board of Antiquities / Jan Lindroth.
The kitchen of the Frieman dollhouse from Raahe, dating from the 1860s. Photo: National Board of Antiquities / Jan Lindroth.


Kitchen area of the Streng dollhouse from the 1950s. Photo: National Board of Antiquities / Jan Lindroth
Kitchen area of the Streng dollhouse from the 1950s. Photo: National Board of Antiquities / Jan Lindroth. 
 

The bedroom of the Lönnroth dollhouse from the turn of the 19th and 20th century. Photo: National Board of Antiquities / Jan Lindroth
The bedroom of the Lönnroth dollhouse from the turn of the 19th and 20th century. Photo: National Board of Antiquities / Jan Lindroth.
 

The Frieman dollhouse from Raahe, 1860s. In the contemporary manner, the dollhouse was built in a cabinet with a glass door. Photo: National Board of Antiquities / Marko Hämäläinen.
The Frieman dollhouse from Raahe, 1860s. In the contemporary manner, the dollhouse was built in a cabinet with a glass door.  Photo: National Board of Antiquities / Marko Hämäläinen.

The thirteen dollhouses of this exhibition from the collection of the National Museum of Finland represent approximately 150 years of the history of dollhouses, from the middle of the 19th century to the end of the 20th century. They provide a cross-section of the world of dollhouses and the changes that have taken place in society during this period. The other miniature buildings on display expand the world of dollhouses, with its focus on the interior, to beyond their walls.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, dollhouses reflected the domestic environments of the affluent middle class or the upper classes in a society in which stratification was distinct and emphasized. For children on their way to adulthood, dollhouses echoed the world of grown-ups. They helped girls practise - either consciously or implicitly - the running of a household. The exhibition includes a few miniature worlds specific to boys' play. Rare items are a few silver object for dollhouses made in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Building dollhouses is a fascinating pastime for modern-day adults. Do-it-yourself interior decoration is a challenge for one's skills, and assembling a personal miniature world offers endless opportunities for the imagination. On loan in the exhibition is a dollhouse called Väinölä, a never-ending project for its enthusiast owner.

The dollhouse exhibition includes guided tours and special events.

Accompanying the exhibition is a new book in Finnish by Jouni Kuurne, "Unelmien koti - Nukkekotien pienoismaailmat" (Dream Homes - The Miniature Worlds of Dollhouses), published by the National Board of Antiquities and the Finnish Literature Society. The book is on sale in the Museum Shop, price € 24,00
Museum Shop
 
Exhibition working group: Virpi Akolahti, Helena Edgren, Liisa Erä-Esko, Outi Flander, Hanna Forssell, Satu Frondelius, Jouni Kuurne, Marjut Lamminen, Tomi Nikander, Reijo Pasanen, Raija Pirilä, Kaija Steiner-Kiljunen, Jari Valo.
Conservation of exhibits: Marja Aaltonen, Matti Aaltonen, Vuokko Ahlfors, Aki Arponen, Jukkapekka Etäsalo, Leena Haley, Eeva Johansson, Kristiina Karinko, Minna Lampinen, Raimo Savinainen, Outi Vuori.
Translations: Torsten Edgren, Eva Ahl-Waris (Swedish), Jüri Kokkonen (English)
Sound design and voice-over: Studio Äänitaivas, Ilkka Olander, actress Ella Pyhältö


For more information, please contact:
Chief Intendant Jouni Kuurne (exhibition script), tel. + 358 (0)40 192 2427 or +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail: jouni.kuurne(at)nba.fi,
Exhibition Secretary, Curator Satu Frondelius, tel. + 358 (0)40 128 6390 or +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail: satu.frondelius(at)nba.fi,
and Curator of Education Hanna Forssell, (Dream Homes project), tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail: hanna.forssell(at)nba.fi  

The exhibition "Dream Homes - Dollhouses at the National Museum of Finland" is on display in the room 215 at the second floor of the National Museum of Finland.


Press release 16 June 2011

Marked on Rock - Photographs of Prehistoric Rock Paintings in Finland

17.6. - 18.9.2011

 

 

Hand print on the rock at Astuvansalmi, Ristiina. Photo: Ismo Luukkonen
Hand print on the rock at Astuvansalmi, Ristiina. Photo: Ismo Luukkonen
 

Rock painting at Haukkalahdenvuori, Enonkoski. Photo: Ismo Luukkonen
Rock painting at Haukkalahdenvuori, Enonkoski.
Photo: Ismo Luukkonen 
  

Rock painting at Kolmiköytisienvuori, Ruokolahti. Photo: Ismo Luukkonen
Rock painting at Kolmiköytisienvuori, Ruokolahti.
Photo: Ismo Luukkonen

An exhibition of Finnish prehistoric rock paintings has been opened at the National Museum of Finland. The exhibition compiled of photographer Ismo Luukkonen's images showcases often hard-to-reach prehistoric rock paintings. The exhibition has photographs of 50 rock painting sites, both of the paintings and the rocks used as canvases. The red colour in the paintings has been enhanced in the photographs to make the images faded by time stand out better.

Finland has altogether approximately 120 known rock paintings with recurring motifs of elk, people, and boats in red. Sometimes there is a print of a hand dipped in paint on the rock. Lines drawn on rock may resemble a snake or form a geometric pattern. In some places, red colour has been spread widely on the surface of the rock without constituting any kind of identifiable pattern.

The age of the rock paintings has been determined to be approximately 7,000 - 3,500 years based on changes in the bodies of water caused by land uplift. This means that the paintings date from the Stone Age, mainly the Comb Ware period some 4,200 - 2,000 BC.

The rock paintings are seen to be connected with the beliefs and world view of Stone Age hunter-gatherers. Even if they are difficult to decipher, rock paintings are an important direct source of information on the belief system of the Stone Age people. The latest research emphasises interpretations based on the shamanism of northern peoples.

Today, the elements surrounding the rock paintings are the same as 6,000 years ago; the connection between water, sky, and rock is strong. Water level has sunk several metres in many places and summer cottages, power lines, and other constructions have altered the painting sites. The paintings themselves show time. The surface of the painted rock has eroded and lichen has taken over, but the red paint still holds its ground against time.

Photographer Ismo Luukkonen has worked with rock paintings since 1994. The project, originating from his own interest, lead to a post as the photographer for the National Museum's EU-funded documentation project in the years 2001 to 2005. The images in the Marked on Rock exhibition have been selected and reworked from material accumulated over 17 years.

Work on the rock paintings has been supported by the National Board of Antiquities, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and the National Council for Photographic Art.

Press photos on photographer Ismo Luukkonen's web page
Please note that captions are only in Finnish.

Further information on the exhibition is provided by:
- Chief Intendant Liisa Erä-Esko, National Museum of Finland, tel. (09) 40501 / exchange
- Photographer Ismo Luukkonen, tel. 044 906 4933, e-mail: ismo.luukkonen(at)pp1.inet.fi 

The Artist's home page:
http://www.ismoluukkonen.net/kalliotaide/suomi/



The "Marked on Rock - Photographs of Prehistoric Rock Paintings" exhibition is held between June, 17 and September 18, 2011, in the exhibition rooms 128 to 130 on the 1st floor of the museum.



Press release 11 May 2011

Faithful friends - Royal Dogs and Horses
12.5.2011 - 29.1.2012

Rocking horse belonging to Prince Carl (XV), 1830s. Hussar uniform for Prince Gustaf Adolf, aged 5, 1911. Photo: Matti Östling / the Royal Armoury (Sweden)
Rocking horse belonging to Prince Karl (XV), 1830s. Hussar uniform for Prince Gustaf Adolf, aged 5, 1911.
Photo: Matti Östling / the Royal Armoury (Sweden)
 

Gustav III’s golden jousting armour, 1776. Photo: Göran Schmidt / the Royal Armoury (Sweden)
Gustav III's gilt jousting armour, 1776.
Photo: Göran Schmidt / the Royal Armoury (Sweden)
 

Queen Christina’s housing for horse with sun-and-moon pattern, 1650. Photo: Göran Schmidt / the Royal Armoury (Sweden)
Queen Christina's housing for horse with sun-and-moon pattern, 1650.
Photo: Göran Schmidt / the Royal Armoury (Sweden)

This exhibition tells about the horses and dogs of Swedish kings, queens, princes and princesses. Horses and dogs have through the ages been one of man's closest friends among animals. They have also held an important role in the lives of royals. The exhibition contains among others magnificent saddles, ornate hunting weapons and horns, a 17th century women's saddle belonging to Queen Christina, a gilt jousting armour from the 1770s belonging to King Gustavus III and a Hussar uniform from 1911 made for the 5-year-old Prince Gustaf Adolf. There are also portraits and photographs on display.

The Faithful Friends -exhibition contains a Knight's Workshop aimed for children. The Knight's Workshop is a interactive workshop, which deepens the subject of the exhibition, but also broadens the theme to the time of knights and castles. In the workshop one may experience and identify: try on an armour and a sword, determine what type of parts where in a jousting armour, get familiar with coats of arms and Finnish castles. The workshop's centre is a knight's tent, where one can read books on knights. The workshop is open during museum opening hours.

In Autumn 2011 guided tours, workshops and events on the topic are organised at the National Museum. A program aimed at day-care centres and schools is open for bookings from 16th of August onwards.

On The Night of the Arts, 26th of August, riding knights from the Rohan Stables in Kemiönsaari perform at the museum's park.

The exhibition is designed and selected on the basis of an exhibition held at the Royal Armoury in Stockholm in 2010-2011. The objects are from the collections of the Royal Armoury, H.M. The King of Sweden, Nordiska museet, the National Museum of Finland and private collections.

Press photos
 
For more information about the exhibition, please contact: 
Exhibition Curator, Chief Intendant Jouni Kuurne, tel. + 358 (0)40 192 2427 or +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail: jouni.kuurne(at)nba.fi
Exhibition Secretary, Curator Satu Frondelius, tel. + 358 (0)40 128 6390 or +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail: satu.frondelius(at)nba.fi
Curator of Education, Hanna Forssell (the Knight's Workshop), tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail: hanna.forssell(at)nba.fi 



Detail of hunting knife, belonging to Carl XV, c. 1750. Photo: Matti Östling / the Royal Armoury (Sweden)The exhibition " Faithful friends - Royal dogs and horses" is on display in rooms 132-131 on the first floor of the museum, between 12.5.2011 - 29.1.2012.
 



Press release 18.10.2010

Riccardo Perrone,

Senza titolo - molto da dire

19.10.2010 - 31.10.2010

Riccardo Perrones painting, detail. Photo: Galleria Contempo. (2010) Italian language week is celebrated for the 10th time worldwide 18.10.-24.10.2010. Istituto Italiano di Cultura (Italian Cultural Institute) in Helsinki marks this week by organizing, in cooperation with the National Museum of Finland and Galleria Contempo, Riccardo Perrone's Exhibition Senza titolo - molto da dire in the National Museum of Finland.

Riccardo Perrone is a 56-year-old Italian painter. He received his artistic training in Florence, and he lives and works in the medieval town of San Gimignano in Tuscany. Perrone is an interpreter of Italian modern art, master of the use of color and composition. His works are in private and public collections around the world.

The Exhibition Riccardo Perrone, Senza titolo - molto da dire is on display in rooms 127, 128, 129, 130 on the first floor of the museum 19.10.-31.10.2010.

For more information, please contact:

Galleria Contempo / Jorma Teittinen
Tel. +358 400 361 080
e-mail: jorma.teittinen(at)galleriacontempo.fi

The National Museum of Finland / Curator Jouni Marjamäki
Tel. +358 50 384 8857
e-mail: jouni.marjamaki(at)nba.fi

Istituto Italiano di Cultura  / Minna Toivonen
Tel. +358 9 6811 3311
e-mail: eventi.iichelsinki(at)esteri.it

Press release 11.5.2010

Risen from the Ashes

The Church of St. Olaf in Tyrvää

The National Museum of Finland 12.5. - 12.9.2010


Tyrvään Pyhän Olavin kirkon sisätila. Kuva: Kimmo Räisänen, 2004



 

 

The exhibition presents the restoration and reconstruction of the church after it had been destroyed by the arson fire 21 September 1997. This exhibition pays homage to the Evangelical-Lutheran Congregation of Tyrvää (presently Sastamala), which obtained funding to permit the restoration of this historically significant medieval church to its former impressive condition. Without the dedication, persistence and skill of numerous volunteers this major undertaking could never have been carried out.

Risen from the Ashes displays old objects and artefacts from the Church of Saint Olaf, which had been moved elsewhere before the fire. The exhibits include the original medieval reredos of the church which is in the collections of the National Museum of Finland, a crucifix possibly dating from the 16th century that had been moved to the new Church of Tyrvää, and a sample of the old shingle roof of the church recovered by the Department of Monuments and Sites of the National Board of Antiquities. The reconstruction and restoration of the church are presented with the aid of photographs, tools and a scale model.

The Church of Saint of Olaf in Tyrvää was built around the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. It appears to have been erected on the site of an older wooden church. The church was already damaged by fire before 1629. Rebuilding after the fire and renovation in the 18th century resulted in a nave that was uncommonly rich in detail. The completion of the new Church of Tyrvää in 1855 marked the end of the regular use of the Church of Saint Olaf, and of its repairs and renovation. As a result, its unique interior remained unchanged for over a century. Volunteers repaired the roof in 1995 - 1997.

The Church of Saint Olaf was destroyed in a fire in the early hours of September 21, 1997, only two weeks after the roof was finished. The decision to rebuild the Church of Saint Olaf in Tyrvää was taken soon after the fire in the church. It was clear from the outset that this church belonging to the nationally listed landscape of Lake Rautavesi would be restored on the exterior to its appearance from before the fire. The wooden interior furnishings of the church had been destroyed completely by fire, as well as the shingle roof and its supporting structures. On the other hand, the masonry and brick structures of the church had survived in repairable condition.

The Evangelical-Lutheran Congregation of Vammala appointed a building committee for the restoration project, which included members from the National Board of Antiquities. The planning of restoration and related counselling was the task of the Board. The work was mostly carried out by volunteers and students of the Ikaalinen and Tyrvää schools of crafts and design. The Laboratory of Building Geology of the Tampere University of Technology was involved in developing mortar for the renovation work. The design of the interior of the church is by the architect Ulla Rahola.

Funds for rebuilding the church were provided by several private individuals. The largest donation came from the artist Mauri Kunnas who donated the proceeds of a children's book "Christmas Morning in Doghill Church" written and illustrated by him. A public collection of funds provided 302,740 euro and building materials were received as donations.

After the church was completed in 2003, the painted decoration of its interior became a topical issue. Two well-known Finnish artists, Kuutti Lavonen and Osmo Rauhala were chosen to prepare the new paintings in 2004. Their works were revealed to the public in August 2009.

The artists's sketches  and drawings for the paintings in the Church  are on display at the exhibition Kuutti Lavonen - Osmo Rauhala, Sketches for works in the Church of St. Olaf in Tyrvää at the 1st floor of the National Museum of Finland until 12 September 2010.

For more information, please contact
Director General Helena Edgren, tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange
e-mail: helena.edgren(at)nba.fi
or Exhibition Secretary Hanna Forssell, tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange
e-mail: hanna.forssell(at)nba.fi

Exhibition working group: Director General Helena Edgren, Keeper Liisa Erä-Esko, Keeper Sakari Mentu, Building Conservator Olli Cáven, Architect Ulla Rahola, Architect Tomi Nikander, Graphic Designer Raija Pirilä, Curator Marjut Lamminen, Museum Educator Hanna Forssell and Curator Jouni Marjamäki.

Constructions: Technician Virpi Akolahti, Senior Technician Reijo Pasanen and Technician Jari Valo.

Translations: Torsten Edgren (Swedish), Jüri Kokkonen (English)


Press release 25.3.2010

Kuutti Lavonen - Osmo Rauhala

Sketches for works in the Church of Saint Olaf in Tyrvää

The National Museum of Finland 26.3. - 12.9.2010

Grace, Osmo Rauhala. Photo: Ville Heinonen
Grace, Osmo Rauhala.
Photo: Ville Heinonen
 

Simon of Cyrene Helping Christ Carry the Cross, Kuutti Lavonen. Photo: Rauno Träskelin.
Simon of Cyrene Helping Christ Carry the Cross, Kuutti Lavonen.
Photo: Rauno Träskelin.

The medieval Church of Saint Olaf in Tyrvää, South Finland, was destroyed in a fire in September 1997, with only the stone walls of this unique church remaining. Only two weeks previously, the new shingle roof of the church had been completed, a volunteer project that had lasted many years. The shock of the fire, however, turned to determination. The church was rebuilt with traditional methods, respecting the old manner of execution, and it was completed in August 2003.

After the church was completed, the painted decoration of its interior became a topical issue. The fire had destroyed the 18th-century interior decoration, which had survived surprisingly well. An important part of the original interior consisted of images of the Passion of Christ painted by Andreas Löfmark on the gallery in 1780 and paintings of the Story of Creation and Paradise in the choir.

The Evangelical-Lutheran Congregation of Vammala decided that the new paintings were to be based on the earlier ones and that they should express the word of the Bible. The works were also to be figurative. Two well-known Finnish artists, Kuutti Lavonen and Osmo Rauhala were chosen to prepare the new paintings.

Kuutti Lavonen painted the panels of the gallery railings while Osmo Rauhala made the paintings for the choir area, altar and pulpit. Lavonen painted the Apostles of the west gallery and illustrated the Passion of Christ, while Rauhala painted the Story of Creation. Their works were revealed to the public in August 2009.

The exhibition at the National Museum of Finland presents studies and sketches made for this project.

The second part of the exhibition Risen from the Ashes, The Church of Saint Olaf in Tyrvää will open on the ground floor of the museum on 12 May 2010. It presents the restoration and reconstruction of the church after it had been destroyed by fire. This project involved volunteer work that aroused considerable attention and interest.


For more information, please contact
Director General Helena Edgren, tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange,
e-mail: helena.edgren(at)nba.fi
or Exhibition Secretary Hanna Forssell, tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange,
e-mail: hanna.forssell(at)nba.fi


Exhibition working group:

Director General Helena Edgren, Keeper Liisa Erä-Esko, Keeper Sakari Mentu, Building Conservator Olli Cáven, Architect Ulla Rahola, Architect Tomi Nikander, Graphic Designer Raija Pirilä, Curator Marjut Lamminen, Museum Educator Hanna Forssell.

Constructions: Technician Virpi Akolahti, Senior Technician Reijo Pasanen and Technician Jari Valo.

Translations: Torsten Edgren (Swedish), Jüri Kokkonen (English)


  Press release 19 November 2009

Armfelt Kuva: Tomi Nikander

Etsintäkuulutettu – Efterlyst – Wanted Kuva: Tomi Nikander

An Officer in the Service of a King and an Emperor


The National Museum of Finland 20.11.2009 - 30.1.2011

G. M. Armfelt at the age of 44, Joseph Grassi, Berlin 1799-1801. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities/Markku Haverinen.

G. M. Armfelt at the age of 44, Joseph Grassi, Berlin 1799-1801.
Photo: The National Board of Antiquities / Markku Haverinen

Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt (1757-1814) is one of the most colourful characters of Finnish history. His fate led him from the battlefields and courts of Europe to a dismal small town in South Russia. Armfelt was also one of the best-known Finns of his time, whose achievements were noted in the newspapers of Stockholm and Paris alike. He had an exceptional role as the guest of royalty and princely hosts in Europe. During his lifetime, he met or was personally acquainted with a stunning number of heads of state and other leading personages of the period.

Wanted - Armfelt exhibition features over a hundred items personally owned by G. M. Armfelt, providing a glimpse of his world, whether in Stockholm, in exile in Italy, banished to Kaluga in Russia, as a minister to the court in Vienna, or at his home, Joensuu Manor, in Halikko, SW Finland.

The exhibits include numerous decorations, the large and small costumes of Sweden's Royal Order of the Seraphim and a warrant issued in 1794 for the arrest of Armfelt. His wedding ring and miniature portraits of his wife Hedvig and children Augusta and Gustav Magnus tell of his family. On display are trunks, cutlery, a dinner service with motifs of the Danish Royal Order of the Elephant made by Josiah Wedgwood's pottery works, a breakfast service of the Vienna Porcelain Factory, furniture, and portraits, including Josef Grassi's paintings of G. M. Armfelt and Vilhelmina, Duchess of Sagan.

The so-called Armfelt Collection of the National Museum of Finland consists of a bequest from the estate of Count Carl Alexander Armfelt (1850 -1925) that was received in 1925. The objects of the Armfelt family and the Joensuu Manor tell of the history of the family over several generations. Additions to the collection have been acquired for the National Museum.

An audio guide to the exhibition Wanted - Armfelt can be downloaded from the National Museum's webpages. Where is the Princess of Couronia? is a game for visitors in the museum's central hall that gives an idea of the exciting life of G. M. Armfelt. Game is temporarily not in use.

A complementary feature of the exhibition is the richly illustrated book Gustaf Mauritz Armfeltin perintö. G. M. Armfeltille kuuluneet esineet Suomen kansallismuseon kokoelmissa by Jouni Kuurne on the Armfelt Collection (with an English summary 39 pages). The book is on sale in the Museum Shop, price € 65. 

For more information on the exhibition, please contact Curator Jouni Kuurne, exhibition scriptwriter, tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail: jouni.kuurne(at)nba.fi and exhibition Secretary Hanna Forssell, tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail: hanna.forssell(at)nba.fi.

Exhibition working group: Marja Aaltonen, Matti Aaltonen, Aki Arponen, Helena Edgren, Jenni Einola, Liisa Erä-Esko, Jukkapekka Etäsalo, Hanna Forssell, Leena Haleyi, Liisa Häärä-Bäcklund, Eeva Johansson, Jouni Kuurne, Marjut Lamminen, Minna Lampinen, Tomi Nikander, Reijo Pasanen, Raimo Savinainen, Kaija Steiner-Kiljunen, Leena Tomanterä, Jari Valo, Outi Vuori. Lighting design by Heli Nikunen.

Translations: Torsten Edgren (Swedish), Jüri Kokkonen (English)
 
Press photos

Press release 11.6.2009

Icons and People in the War Years

The National Museum of Finland
12 June 2009 - 31 January 2010

The Archangel Michael, a detail, The National Museum of Finland. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities/Markku Haverinen.

This exhibition compiled by Valamo Art Conservation Institute features icons that were evacuated and collected as memorabilia from Finnish and Russian Karelia during the Finnish-Soviet Winter War of 1939-1940 and the Continuation War of 1941-1944. The whole range of Karelian folk piety is on display, with prints of images of the saints alongside old, darkened tempera-painted icons.

In addition to icons the exhibits include letters, photographs, a notebook and publications. There are several icons from the collections of the National Museum of Finland now on display for the first time as a collection related to the war years. Exhibits are also on loan from the Orthodox Church Museum, the New Valamo Monastery and private individuals.

Icons and People in the War Years also presents individuals who helped rescue a large number of icons from Karelia, Dvina and Olonets. They include Hieromonk Paavali, later Archbishop of the Orthodox Church of Finland; the ethnologists Tyyni Vahter, Helmi Helminen and Sakari Pälsi; the author Olavi Paavolainen; Bertel Hintze, a prominent figure of the art world in Finland; and the art historian Lars Pettersson, who was later Professor of Art History at the University of Helsinki.

The themes of the exhibition are complemented by a richly illustrated book with articles by Katariina Husso MA, Adjunct Professor Kari Kotkavaara, Dr. Žanna Belik, art expert Vladimir Sokratilin and art conservators Helena Nikkanen and Nina Rusakova. The book is on sale at the Museum Shop of the National Museum.

The exhibition is part of the Icon Network project which is being realized with support from the Culture 2007-2010 Programme of the European Union. The Finnish Ministry of Education and the Orthodox Church Council have also provided support for the exhibition.

For more information, please contact Exhibition Secretary Ms. Satu Frondelius, mobile + 358 (0)40 128 6390 or tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail: satu.frondelius(at)nba.fi


Working group, Valamo Art Conservation Institute:

Petter Martiskainen, Auli Martiskainen, Helena Nikkanen and the expert panel assembled by the Institute, consisting of Kari Kotkavaara, Žanna Belik, Katariina Husso, Nina Rusakova and Vladimir Sokratilin

Working group, National Museum of Finland:
Matti Aaltonen, Helena Edgren, Jenni Einola, Liisa Erä-Esko, Satu Frondelius, Jouni Kuurne, Marjut Lamminen, Reijo Pasanen, Raija Pirilä

Translations: Torsten Edgren (Swedish), Jüri Kokkonen (English)

Press photos 

Press release 7.10.2008

1809 ~ A Kingdom Divided and a New Beginning. The Bicentenary of the Finnish War


The National Museum of Finland
9 October 2008 - 19 April 2009

Suomen sota -näyttelyn logo. Kuva: Graafinen suunnitelu: Tomi Nikander. (2007)

The year 2009 will mark the bicentenary of the end of the Finnish War fought between Sweden and Russia in 1808-1809. This major exhibition commemorating the year 1809 will not focus solely on the events of the war.


An important role is also given to its background and repercussions: Napoleon's quest for power, Finland first as part of Sweden and incorporated later in the Russian Empire, and the changes to which the war led in both Finland and Sweden. The exhibition also addresses the memory of the war and the fate of its veterans.


The exhibition is produced by the National Museum of Finland and the Royal Armoury in Stockholm in association with the Finnish Antiquarian Society, the National Archives of Finland, the National Library of Finland, the Finnish Literature Society and the Swedish Literature Society in Finland. It will first be on show at the National Museum of Finland and then at the Royal Armoury in Stockholm 6.6.2009-10.1.2010.


The National Museum of Finland will also offer a wide range of additional events during the exhibition: public lectures, guided tours, drama workshops and musical performances.


Pressphotos


For more information, please contact Exhibition Secretary Ms. Satu Frondelius, mobile + 358 (0)40 128 6390 or tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail: satu.frondelius(at)nba.fi and Keeper Ms. Helena Edgren, tel. +358 (0)9 40501 / exchange, e-mail:helena.edgren(at)nba.fi


The Exhibition teams:


Exhibition in Helsinki


Exhibition comissary: Helena Edgren;

Exhibition curator: Jouni Kuurne;

Curators: Elina Anttila, Raimo Fagerström, Outi Flander, Tuukka Talvio;

Exhibition secretary: Satu Frondelius;

Exhibition designer: Tomi Nikander;

Exhibition producer: Liisa Erä-Esko;

Conservation: Marja Aaltonen, Matti Aaltonen, Aki Arponen, Thomas Ehrström, Jenni Einola, Jukkapekka Etäsalo, Leena Haleyi, Liisa Häärä-Bäcklund, Eeva Johansson, Pia Klaavu, Minna Lampinen, Pauliina Niskanen, Barbara Radaelli-Muuronen, Raimo Savinainen, Kaija Steiner-Kiljunen, Eeva-Maria Tikka, Leena Tomanterä, Outi Vuori, Kaisu Voutilainen;

Registrator, loans: Seija Sarkki-Isomaa

Constructions: Reijo Pasanen, Hannu Korhonen;

Press and Information: Liisa Erä-Esko, Marjut Lamminen;

Museum pedagogy: Marjut Lamminen, Hanna Palonen, Hanna Suihko, Eva Ahl-Waris;

Film: ILLUME Oy/Jouko Aaltonen;

Lighting: Riku Sourama


Exhibition in Stockholm

Exhibition comissary: Per Sandin;

Exhibition curator: Carl Zarmén;

Exhibition assistents: Ebba Engström, Martin Skoog;

Exhibition designer: Tomi Nikander;

Graphic designer: Charlotta Andersson;

Conservation: Rebecka Enhörning; Peter Sedelius; Ann-Cathrine Rothlind; Gerd Crona, Elisabeth Netinder;

Constructions: Lennart Liwerstrand, Peder Wolfbrandt;

Press and Information: Margareta Berglund Hamngren;

Registrator, loans, proof reading: Milla Springfeldt;

Museum pedagogy: Anna Blom Allalouf, Jonas Lindwall.



The exhibition has been sponsored by Helsingin Sanomat, Sparbankssiftelsen i Helsingfors, Kulturfonden för Sverige och Finland and The Sampo Group.


Press release 29.11.2006

The VINTTI workshop - Easy history

Kuva Kansallismuseon Vintti-näyttelytiloista. Kuva: Museovirasto/Tomi Nikander (2006) VINTTI, the Finnish National Museum's newest department, is an interactive exhibition, where visitors can study the history of Finland and its culture using their hands and heads. It is based on experimentation and personal experience, and the tasks and assignments also point the way to exploring the permanent exhibitions of the museum.

In VINTTI you can build a log house or a brick wall, vote as Finns did in 1907, try your hand at assembly-line work, or help weave a long rug for the museum. You can also harness a horse for riding or pulling a cart. The different tasks present the rulers of Finland from kings to presidents, old weights and measures, timber species and fabrics used for clothing. You can also experience office work of the 1950s, or sit on a throne and consider what you might do if you were an emperor.

Open to everyone

VINTTI is suited to everyone over the age of seven. Younger children can visit in the company of adults. There is no upper age limit. VINTTI can be visited with the museum's entrance ticket from noon to 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. Group visits are by prior appointment and subject to a special fee (see prices and contact information below). The museum also provides guided tours including a visit to VINTTI.

Group visits

Children's groups (day-care centres, schools) are requested to visit VINTTI only on guided tours at 9 or 10 a.m. from Tuesday to Friday. The maximum group size is 30 persons and the guided tour lasts approximately one hour. VINTTI is also open to groups by prior appointment after 4 p.m. Bookings Tue. -Fri. 9 a.m. - noon, tel. (09) 4050 9552.
Guided tours

The Exhibition group:

Manuscript and planning of content: Ritva Wäre, Hanna Forssell and Tomi Nikander
Exhibition designer: Tomi Nikander
Exhibition secretary: Hanna Forssell
Constructions: Virpi Akolahti, Reijo Pasanen, Sanna Särkelä and Jari Valo
Persons involved in various tasks: Vuokko Ahlfors, Leena Haleyi, Liisa Erä-Esko, Risto Hakomäki, Jouni Kuurne, Marjut Lamminen, Jaana Pietilä, Pirkko Sihvo and Tuukka Talvio

For more information please contact :

Curator of Education, Ms.Hanna Forssell, tel. + 358 (0)40 128 6453 during office hours 
Workshop co-ordinator, Ms. Irene Nurminen, tel. + 358 (0)40 128 6464 during office hours



[1] Vintti (Attic) gets its name from being in the "museum's  attic" on the third floor. In Finnish  the word vintti also means the lever of a draw well or the reeling mechanism of a seine net, both of them good old-fashioned inventions.


Press release 11.6.2008

The Fascination of Porcelain - Russian Porcelain from the Collections of the National Museum of Finland, 12 June 2008 - 19 April 2009


A gilt Russian porcelain cup from 1820-30

A gilt Russian porcelain cup from 1820-30's. Popov Porcelain Factory, Gorbunovo village, province of Moscow. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities/Rauno Träskelin. 


The Fascination of Porcelain
will open to the public at the National Museum of Finland on 12 June 2008. This exhibition has been produced jointly by the Vera Saarela Foundation and the National Museum. On show will be a selection of some 200 objects from the museum's large collection of Russian porcelain, dating from the 18th century to the Soviet era.

The exhibition also features a series of works by photographer Anne Hämäläinen exploring the atmosphere of the palaces of Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsk.

Most of the Russian porcelain in the National Museum of Finland has been received from private donations. The porcelain collection gained international status through a bequest from Kalle Saarela (1902 - 1974). The Saarela donation comprised approximately 150 Russian porcelain items along with West European porcelain. Kalle Saarela also established a foundation that has provided funds for additions to the donated collection, which has now grown to approximately twice its original size.

Russian porcelain is a distinct entity in the National Museum's collections. The personal histories of the collectors and their relationship with Russia also tell of the various stages of Finnish-Russian coexistence. In addition, the collection provides an overview of the history of porcelain manufacture in the Russian empire, to which Finland was joined as a result of the War of 1808-1809 between Sweden and Russia.

The early stages of the Imperial Porcelain Factory, founded in St. Petersburg in 1744, are represented by a dessert plate from the private service of Empress Elisabeth, tableware from the 1760s from the service of Prince Grigory Orlov, the favourite of Catherine II, and rare figurines designed by Jean-Dominique Rachette in the 1780s, among other items. The only private porcelain factory that gained an established position in the 18th century was the Gardner works, established north of Moscow. The present exhibition includes a large number of its products.

In the early 19th century growing numbers of entrepreneurs entered the porcelain industry. Gardner was matched in the Moscow region by the Popov factory, which was known for its fine material, and in St. Petersburg by the Kornilov brothers and the Batenin works. Many other porcelain factories were established, particularly in the surroundings of Moscow, where clay of good quality was available in large amounts. The heyday of these factories was in the first half of the 19th century before the rise of factories specializing in large-scale production.

In the products of the private factories Russian characteristics are often evident as vernacular features of ornamental painting, although the design of the objects generally followed European models and examples. Porcelain design and decoration of the 19th century reflects the development of style in the period and influences that were adapted with skill. The Russian motifs and characters of the figurines were sought from contemporary publications. The material in the National Museum of Finland includes fine examples of high-quality products from the small factories.

During the 19th century large tableware services were made for many palaces. While services for everyday use were mostly decorated in a simple manner, impressive dinner services, often with opulent gilding, were made for banquets and celebrations. The best-known imperial series included plates with military motifs, used as dessert plates and also given as gifts. The plates of military themes signed by V. A. Stoletov and N. Yakovlev in the collections of the National Museum are from the 1830s.

During the Soviet era new political ideals found expression also in the forms of porcelain, which were traditional as such. The series of popular figurines - of street vendors, peasants and artisans - continued in the 20th century with new and contemporary ideal types. The impressive porcelain urns bearing the portraits of President Urho Kekkonen of Finland and the cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Herman Titov were received by President Kekkonen as gifts on state visits to the Soviet Union.

A book has been published in connection with the exhibition, "Venäläinen posliini. Collection Vera Saarela ja Suomen kansallismuseon kokoelmat." Written by Curator Elina Anttila, PhD. Summary in English. Richly illustrated, 215 pages, hardback, price 25,00 euros.

For more information please contact Curator Ms. Elina Anttila, the author of the exhibition manuscript and the book. Tel.  + 358 (0)9 4050 9309, elina.anttila (at) nba.fi
 
 
The Exhibition team:
Produced by: Vera Saarela Foundation/ National Museum of Finland
Manuscript and planning of content: Elina Anttila, Anne Hämäläinen, Ritva Wäre
Photos from Russia: Anne Hämäläinen
Exhibition designer: Raija Pirilä
Constructions: Matti Aaltonen, Virpi Akolahti, Reijo Pasanen, Mika Räsänen, Raimo Savinainen, Jari Valo
Conservation: Eeva Johansson, Leena Tomanterä
Lighting: Tomi Nikander
Translations: Eivor Holm, Tuomo-Pekka Kalliomäki, Jüri Kokkonen
Photographs of exhibits: Jouni Marjamäki, Rauno Träskelin

Press release 12.2.2008

Museum acquisitions from the past three years 


New items in the collections, 2005 - 2007


15 February - 27 April 2008


Museum acquisitions from the past three years -exhibition The exhibition "Museum Acquisitions from the Past Three Years" is a selection of objects and works of art, that represent acquisitions to the collections of the National Museum of Finland in 2005 - 2007. Over the past three years almost four thousand objects and hundreds of finds from historically documented times have been acquired or received as donations for the museum's various collections. The objects represent different centuries and venues of life, from all parts of Finland and abroad.

Presented are only two main forms of collection. Some of the items have been acquired as additions to the National Museum's valuable existing collections that have accumulated for some two hundred years. For example a collection of oil paintings originally from Monrepos Manor near Viipuri and tools and other objects that belonged the Finnish Mint's first own engraver's Carl Jahn (1844 - 1912), carry on the museum's work of keeping material of Finnish history and of national cultural-historical significance. The other aspect tells of the collection of contemporary material culture of the second half of the 20th century and the present day with the means available to the museum. Exhibition presents objects that belong to everyday life in the home such as home appliances, leisure goods and clothing.

The growing abundance of objects and their increasingly faster circulation pose difficult questions for museums. Not everything can be collected, but nonetheless museums should seek to obtain typical and essential samples of the wealth of items that people today need in their everyday lives. Museums of the future should be capable of presenting the rapid turnover of objects, while demonstrating the products and technological innovations that have had influence on major changes in our culture, or reflect them. Developments in information technology are of prime importance in this respect.

The objects are complemented by archival and written sources, and visual information, especially the moving image. The exhibition includes examples of acquisitions of the Archives of Photographs and Prints of the National Board of Antiquities. New acquisitions for the Maritime Museum of Finland and the Museum of Cultures will not be presented this time.

Exhibition group:
Ritva Wäre (idea and script), Raija Pirilä (exhibition architecture and graphic design), Reetta DeWan (exhibition secretary), Virpi Akolahti and Reijo Pasanen (exhibition structures), Sirkku Dölle, Outi Flander, Risto Hakomäki, Outi Järvinen, Tuija Kämppi, Antti Metsänkylä, Tuukka Talvio and the Conservation Laboratory of The National Museum of Finland.

Additional information is given by director general Ms. Ritva Wäre tel. 050 63 831.
On behalf of the Archives of Photographs and Prints by Ms. Sirkku Dölle tel. 050 428 5540.
On behalf of the Ethnological Collections by Mr. Risto Hakomäki tel. (09) 4050 9324.
On behalf of the Historical Collections by Ms. Outi Flander tel. (09) 4050 9311.

Press release 25.10.2007

The decorations and medals of Major General Aaro Pajari


20 October 2007 - 20 April 2008


Pajari Exhibition. Design: Tomi Nikander. (2007) Aaro Pajari (1897-1949) distinguished himself as one of the best-known Finnish front commanders in the Winter War 1939-1940 and the Continuation War 1941-1944 and the Lapland War of 1944-1945.
He was one of the four men to be awarded the Mannerheim Cross twice.


Pajari, the son of an elementary school teacher, was born in Häme but the family was of Karelian origin. He started to study history at the University of Helsinki in 1916 but after joining the Civil Guard and fighting in the Civil War in 1918 he remained in the army. After graduating from the Cadet School and the General Staff College he served in the Civil Guard from 1926 to 1939.

After the wars the political climate changed, and in 1949 Pajari resigned from the armed forces. He died of a heart attack the day before his resignation was due to take effect. In his letter of condolence to the widow, Marshall Mannerheim praised Pajari as a legendary figure.

General Pajari's decorations were acquired by the National Museum of Finland in March 2006.

For more information contact: 
Director of the Coin Cabinet Mr. Tuukka Talvio, phone +358 (9) 4050 9540




Press release 28.11.2007

Guess the Christmas Carol -  A Christmas Exhibition
25.11.2007- 6.1.2008


A Christmas Card sent to Author, Professor of history Zachris Topelius (1818-98). The Collection of The National Museum of Finland. On show are ten groups of objects referring to Finnish Christmas songs and carols. Visitors are asked to recognize songs with objects and words as clues. Not all the carols are known in Swedish or English.

Christmas and winter-related objects from the collections of the National Museum of Finland and old words and sayings in Finnish and Swedish guide visitors in identifying the carols. The answers are in the booklet at the foot of the Christmas tree, also containing lyrics of the songs and carols played in the room. You can sing along and enjoy the Christmas mood.

On weekends during the exhibition Christmas elves will help visitors work out the links between the songs and the objects. On these occasions there will also be crafts and different assignments.

The elves will be present on Sunday 25 November / Saturday 1 December / Sunday 2 December / Saturday 8 December / Sunday 9 December / Saturday 15 December / Sunday 16 December from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Entry fees: 6,00 euros/4,00 euros, free under 18 years old.

On Thu 6 December, Finland's Independence Day, musician Kati Sannelvuo will sing and lead the singing of Christmas songs and carols from 12 noon until 4 p.m.

On Thu 6 December, Finland's Independence Day, free entry to the museum, the museum is open 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.

 
For more information please contact:
Keeper Ms. Liisa Erä-Esko, phone + 358 (0) 4050 9554




Press release 11.6.2007

SPEAKERS, Portraits from the Collection of the Parliament of Finland
Exhibition in The National Museum of Finland 13.6.- 26.8.2007


Poster of the Speakers Exhibition. Design: Tomi Nikander (2007)
Exhibition gives an exceptional opportunity to view a historically significant collection of portraits. In the Parliament building the Speakers' portraits have been placed in spaces where the public seldom has a chance to visit. The art collection of the Parliament of Finland includes 33 portraits of Speakers of both the Diet of Four Estates and the unicameral Parliament. The artists are well-known masters starting from Albert Edelfelt and Eero Järnefelt.
The portraits of the three non-aristocratic estates were transferred in 1907 to the unicameral Parliament, whereas the portraits of the Land Marshals remained in the House of Nobility. The series of portraits of the non-aristocratic estates were also started after the Diet in 1863. The oldest portrait in this collection is the one of Arch Bishop Edvard Bergenheim, painted by Fredrik Ahlstedt in 1879.

The portraits of the Clergy include all five Speakers, a position given to the archbishops. The members of the clergy all wear bishops' crosses as a symbol of their position, some also hold a copy of the New Testament. The Burghers is represented in the collection by only one portrait. The refined portrait of commercial counsellor Joachim Kurtén, a long-standing Speaker of the third estate, was painted by Albert Edelfelt in 1889.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela's portrait of Senior Juror Carl Johan Slotte (1891) shows that the Peasants' Estate accepted more simplified, even typified ways of presenting its members. The last Speakers of the fourth estate were given further symbols of their position.

The transition to a unicameral parliament in 1907 did not break the tradition of portraits. However, the first portrait, that of the Speaker P. E. Svinhufvud (1913), painted by Eero Järnefelt, differs both from its predecessors and its followers. The portrait is significantly larger and it shows the Speaker in full length in the style of royal portraits.

In the older portraits the model has often been depicted against a monochrome background. However, the setting is essential in the portraits at the turn of the century and the beginning of the 20th century. It was considered more suitable in a democracy to portray the sitter in habitual surroundings with everyday objects than attributes signifying power and position as in court portraits. The ballot bowl and the speaker's gavel have been used as symbols of the Speaker's station, not only in the portrait of Oskari Tokoi painted by Albert Gebhard (1915), but also in many others.

No portraits were commissioned during the socially unstable period that followed independence. A clear sign of the steadying of circumstances was the purchase of five portraits in 1924, amongst them portraits of Kyösti Kallio and Wäinö Wuolijoki, painted by Antti Favén, who was a popular painter of his time. Previously a portrait was commissioned when the Speaker's term of office ended, but since the 1920s portraits have often been painted during the Speaker's office and before the end of a parliamentary career.

The conservative nature of portraiture is shown, for example, in the reoccurrence of certain gestures and postures as signs of authority. In the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century the commissioners and the viewer were accustomed to reading body language, gestures and facial expressions. The emphasis on the model's personality had the result of cutting down the details in the portraits from the 1910s and 1920s onwards. The renewal of the art genre has meant leaving out objects and symbols and emphasising informality, even plainness, in more modern portraiture. This is shown, for example, by Erkki Heikkilä's portrait of Speaker Erkki Pystynen (1989) and Niilo Hyttinen's portrait of Speaker Matti Ahde (1990).

However, not every Speaker has a portrait in the collection. Some politicians who were in office for only a short period did not have their portraits painted. The first female portrait was unveiled in 2003 in this male-dominated gallery. Painter Pasi Tammi emphasised Speaker Riitta Uosukainen's special position by returning to the traditional style of portraiture with a festive full-length portrait.

The exhibition SPEAKERS, Portraits from the Collection of the Parliament of Finland

is connected to the Parliament's centennial celebrations. A book in Finnish, Swedish and English presenting the portraits will be published in conjunction with the exhibition. Guided tours in Finnish and Swedish will also be arranged during the exhibition.

Script: Curator Liisa Lindgren, Parliament of Finland


For more information contact:
- The National Museum of Finland; Keeper Ms. Liisa Erä-Esko, phone + 358 (0) 4050 9554, Director General Ms. Ritva Wäre, phone + 358 (0) 4050 9547
- The Parliament of Finland; Curator Ms. Liisa Lindgren, phone +358 (0) 432 2226.

Pressphotos

Press release 23.5.2007

Åland - Ahvenanmaa!
Exhibition in
The National Museum of Finland


25.5. - 21.10.2007


Coat of Arms of Åland Islands. Stained glass painting, Eric O.W. Ehrström. Photo: Matti Huuhka. Åland is not merely red granite rocks and glittering sea. Åland arouses feelings and many questions. In the exhibition ÅLAND - AHVENANMAA! we hope to be able to give answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Åland and Ålanders by offering glimpses of the past and present of the Åland Islands.

Åland, the autonomous region in Finland. Many think of the scattered archipelago with its rocky coastline of red granite, the glittering sea and leafy glades. Fishing trips, seal safaris, golfing holidays and bicycle trips along winding, country lanes, picturesque villages, a cosy world in miniature.

Questions about Åland often provoke feelings. The exhibition "ÅLAND - AHVENANMAA!" aims to answer some of these questions and even to soften hardened prejudices. Many ask questions about Åland, its character and the Ålandic identity. Why is it different on Åland?

-   Why do brides dress in black?
-   Did Ålanders fight to defend Finland in times of war?
-   Is everyone on Åland rich?
-   Why don't Ålanders have to do military service?
-   What is the Great Liquor Rally?
-   How was the fortress of Bomarsund recycled?

ÅLAND - AHVENANMAA! exhibition presents important parts of Åland's cultural heritage as seen from today's perspective. The exhibition is constructed around a number of themes, which together allow glimpses of the islands' history and Åland today.

The themes which are addressed include: Treasures of the Past, Decorated cupboards and proposal gifts, Folk traditions, Midsummer Celebrations, War on the Islands of Peace, Shipping and Taxfree, Migration, Bomarsund - East meets West, Churches, Residence of Power and Åland - the Region.

A number of objects are exhibited to shed light on Åland and to catch the visitor's attention.

The objects come from the Museum of Åland's ethnological and archaeological collections, collections of the National Museum of Finland, Turku Provincial Museum, Finland's War Museum, Åland's Maritime Museum, Åland Islands' Emigration Institute and the Church of Finström. The Post Office on Åland, Åland's penningautomatförening, and private individuals have also lent objects to the exhibition.

Several films are shown in the exhibition, a film about the sea during the various seasons by Per-Ove Högnäs, a documentary film "What do you think about Åland?" by Johan Karrento, and the film "Bomarsund, Outpost of Empire", by Henrik Juslin and Graham Robins.

Other audio-visual material is used in the exhibition. Large satellite picture of the region help to bring the presentation to life. The texts are in three languages (Swedish, Finnish and English).

The exhibition is a cooperation between the Government of Åland/Museibyrån and the National Museum of Finland.

Script: Government of Åland/Museibyrån

Planning: Ms. Anna-Maaret Pitkänen-Darmark

Work group on the Åland Islands:
Director of Section Ms. Viveka Löndahl; Ms. Anna-Maaret Pitkänen-Darmark, project coordinator; Ms. Ami Rinne, Ms. Kitty Strandvik, Mr. Marcus Lindholm, Mr. Jan-Erik Tomtlund, Mr. Kenneth Gustavsson, Mr. Rudolf Gustavsson, Ms. Jenni Lucenius, Ms. Eva Meyer , Ms. Åsa Ringbom, Mr. Graham Robins, Ms. Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch.

Work group in the National Museum of Finland:
Ms. Virpi Akolahti, Ms. Liisa Erä-Esko, Mr. Aki Hakonen, Mr. Tomi Nikander, Mr. Reijo Pasanen, Ms. Raija Pirilä, Ms. Pirkko Sihvo, Ms. Ritva Wäre, Conservation laboratory.

PressphotosFor more information contact:
- Keeper Ms. Liisa Erä-Esko, National Museum of Finland, phone + 358 (0) 4050 9554
- Project coordinator Ms. Anna-Maaret Pitkänen-Darmark, Åland Board of Antiquities, the Government of Åland, mobile phone +358 (0) 457 5301441.

Press Release 30.11.2006

St. Michel 1747


- concise exhibition on diving finds


30.11.2006 - 13.5.2007


St. Michel 1747. Photo: Matti Huuhka.

Meissen porcelain ca. 1740-1747, so called German flowers decoration. Photo: Matti Huuhka.

The concise exhibition by the National Museum and the Maritime Museum of Finland presents finds recovered from the three-masted galliot St. Michel, which is among the most important wrecks in Finland in terms of antiquarian value. 

The St. Michel is rare even on a global scale. It is an 18th century merchant vessel with an intact hull and its lower masts still standing. The wreck has in particular been protected by the low-saline water of the Baltic Sea, which is not favoured by the wood-devouring mollusc Teredo navalis, commonly referred to as the shipworm.

The ship was registered in Russia and sailing under the command of Captain Carl Paulus Amiel. En route from Amsterdam to St. Petersburg in the late autumn of 1747, the vessel foundered south of the island of Borstö in Nauvo, sinking to a depth of some 40 metres. The reason for the accident is not known.

The St. Michel was discovered in the 1950's, and underwater research was launched in the early part of the next decade. The ship was later identified through diving finds and archival research conducted in five countries. According to the cargo manifest, the St. Michel was carrying textiles, dyes, lumber, foodstuffs, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and miscellaneous merchandise.

Approximately 600 different objects or fragments have been recovered from the wreck for the collections of the National Board of Antiquities of Finland. The most famous finds comprise golden and silver snuffboxes and pocket watches as well as rare Meissen porcelain tableware and figurines. The St. Michel is officially protected under the provisions of the Finnish Antiquities Act and is out of bounds for recreational divers.

An illustrated reference book "S:t Mikael 1747" on the ship was published in Finnish in 2005. The English edition of the book, "St. Michel 1747", will be published in conjunction with the opening of this exhibition.

A more extensive presentation of maritime archaeological finds will be on display in Kotka in the summer of 2008 when the Maritime Museum of Finland, which will move from Hylkysaari in Helsinki, will be reopened to the public.

More information:
Maritime archeologist  Anna Nurmio-Lahdenmäki, 040 533 1747
Architect Helena Hökkä, 040 562 8448
Researcher Ismo Malinen, The Maritime Museum of Finland, (09) 4050 9052


Press photos