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The Pious and the Pagans – Portrayals of Humanity exhibition at Häme Castle from 28 April to 17 December 2017
The exhibition presents a part of the National Museum’s unique collection of medieval wooden sculptures in parallel with sculptures by three contemporary artists. The contemporary artworks also gain a new perspective when compared and contrasted with medieval Christian sculptures. Finland has a rich and diverse wood carving tradition, and there is a clear continuum from medieval church art, folk carving and craftsmanship to contemporary art. The works of the contemporary artists have been created in the 21st century, and some of them are brand new, made especially for this exhibition.
Mia Hamari, Maija Helasvuo and Tapani Kokko are central sculptors of the younger generation who use wood as the material in their art, which draws from tradition yet is quite original. Similarities between their art and the medieval sculptures include the use of wood as a material, making things by hand, strong craftsmanship and the depiction of man and human themes, such as love, motherhood, suffering, death, grief, power and victory, regardless of the century.
The exhibition creates a dialogue between the medieval and contemporary sculptures that enriches them both. Both the medieval carvings and the works of contemporary artist have multiple meanings. The contemporary carvings, created in a secular context, can also be seen as holy and, on the other hand, the medieval carvings can be viewed stripped of religious connotations so that they speak to modern viewers as pure images of humanity.
This is the first time that some of the medieval sculptures from the collections of the National Museum of Finland are on display, and some of the exhibited sculptures have been used in the churches of the Häme region. The exhibition will feature the partly conserved winged altarpiece of Somero; it is one of the finest and most interesting surviving winged altarpieces in Finland. The connection between medieval cultural heritage and contemporary art highlights the National Museum’s collection of medieval wooden sculptures and the cultural heritage imparted by the museum as a living resource that produces new culture. The National Museum’s collection of medieval sculptures will be published in Finna during 2017.
The exhibition has been curated by Head of Department Sanna Teittinen (PhD) of the National Museum of Finland and medieval sculpture specialist Katri Vuola (MA), who is writing a doctoral thesis on medieval wooden sculpture. Curator Lea Värtinen served as the Project Manager.
Artist Jaana Partanen and architect Heikki Lamusuo (Partanen & Lamusuo Oy) worked as the principal designers of the exhibition. Mercedes Said (design) and Janne Ojala (technical execution) from Aalto University’s MediaLab and Topias Airas (3D modelling) from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences created a 3D simulation of the sculpture of Saint George and the Dragon for the exhibition. The work adviser was Professor Lily Díaz, and the project was carried out as a part of the work of Aalto University’s Systems of Representation research team. Pietu Pietiäinen provided light, sound and video design as well as creating a documentary film on the restoration of the Somero altarpiece in collaboration with conservators Jukkapekka Etäsalo and Nina Broadstreet.
The Pious and the Pagans exhibition publication (in Finnish) will be published at the opening. There is an additional programme related to the exhibition.
Head of Department Sanna Teittinen, tel. +358 295 33 6394, email@example.com
Curator Lea Värtinen, tel. +358 295 33 6341, firstname.lastname@example.org
Keeper Jouni Marjamäki, tel. +358 295 33 6344, email@example.com
Kustaa III:n katu 6, Hämeenlinna
3.1.–30.4. Tue-Fri 10 am–4 pm, Sat-Sun 11 am–4 pm, mon closed
2.5.–31.5. Mon-Fri 10 am–4 pm, Sat-Sun 11 am–4 pm
1.6.–14.8. daily 10 am–5 pm
15.8.–17.12. Tue-Fri 10 am–4 pm, Sat-Sun 11 am–4 pm, mon closed
tel. +358 295 33 6932, firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Museum donates an important Sámi collection to the Sámi Museum Siida
On 5 April 2017, the National Museum of Finland and the Sámi Museum Siida concluded a letter of intent according to which the National Museum will donate a collection of Sámi artefacts to Siida. The agreement celebrates the centenary year Finland–Sápmi 100 and the many years of co-operation between the two museums. The transfer of the collection greatly increases the attainability and influence of the Sámi cultural heritage in the Sámi area, offering the Sámi better possibilities for maintaining and developing their cultural heritage. The concentration of Sámi objects into Siida follows the principle of documentation responsibility between the museums.
The Sámi collection of the National Museum has been accumulating since the 1830s. In the 1800s, accumulation was occasional, and a vast majority of the artefacts were acquired during collection trips made in 1902–1939. The most important collectors were T. I. Itkonen, Theodor Schvindt, Ilmari Manninen and Samuli Paulaharju. Artefacts were actively collected again from the 1970s to the 1990s; by this time, the guidelines of collection had already changed. In the Sámi area, the aim was no longer to collect old objects that were invaluable for Sámi culture, but to concentrate on new handicrafts which had been crafted according to old traditions. The National Museum was responsible for the keeping and documentation of the Sámi artefacts until 1998 when Siida was opened.
The National Museum’s Sámi collection comprises approximately 2,600 artefacts, including the oldest Sámi objects found in Finland. In terms of numbers, the largest group consists of clothes and parts of clothes, household objects and equipment meant for transportation and the making of textiles. Almost a half of the artefacts have been collected from the regions of Inari and Petsamo. The big proportion of Skolt Sámi objects makes the collection especially valuable and rare from an international point of view, too.
The National Museum and Siida will in future engage in close co-operation in order to present and document Sámi culture, and the National Museum will go on introducing the public to Sámi history and cultural heritage through its exhibitions after the collection transfer, too.
The collection will be transferred to Siida in connection with the expansion of the museum, which will hopefully be completed in the early 2020s. In addition to modern collection facilities, the expansion will bring the Sámi Museum communal multipurpose facilities; this will enable the museum to present and examine collections interactively with the community. Through the study of artefacts, it will be possible to revive old Sámi crafting traditions and techniques, the Sámi knowledge of materials and words dealing with the crafting and use of objects.
The first artefacts that will be transferred from the National Museum will be at display as early as April 2018 when Siida will launch an exhibition on Johan (Juhani) Nuorgam, the founder of the museum. The Sámi Museum Siida will celebrate its 20th anniversary on 1 April 2018.
Elina Anttila, Director General, The National Museum of Finland, email@example.com, tel. +358 295 33 6131
Sari Valkonen, Museum Director, Sámi Museum Siida, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 40 767 1052
An exhibition of the prehistory of Finland opens at the National Museum of Finland
The exhibition opening on 1 April 2017 at the National Museum of Finland presents the prehistory of Finland. The exhibition is the most extensive and comprehensive presentation of the lives and origin of Finns from the Stone Age to the end of the Iron Age, and its content focuses on the questions of being human in the Nordic frame of reference. The most important archaeological finds in Finland combined with digital media, a soundscape and objects that can be touched and handled all build bridges from one time to another.
The themes of the exhibition include origins, movement, worldview, identity, encounters and materialism. Topics are approached from the point of view of being human, identifying with things and alternative interpretations. The latest archaeological research data is presented in addition to conflicting, disputed or otherwise open issues. Beyond the archaeological research data, perspectives into the world of beliefs of prehistoric humans are opened. The script for the exhibition has been written by Professor Vesa-Pekka Herva and Docent Antti Lahelma.
“What fascinates me about archaeology and the study of the past is how beliefs and concepts of the worldview have originated several millennia in the past, and how they are still alive in us in a way, affecting our lives and ways of thinking.” (Professor Vesa-Pekka Herva, University of Oulu)
Approximately 750 objects from the archaeological collections of the National Board of Antiquities are on display. As physical objects, the world’s oldest fishing net, a Merovingian Period water burial, Iron Age swords, artefacts with animal motifs, silver treasures and other artefacts discovered in the soil tell a story about how people acted and survived in Northern conditions. Materialism finds a new dimension in the exhibition, and it is discussed widely by digital methods and the means of multimedia. “What remains of us, and what is lost?” This is a fundamental question in archaeological research. An experiential approach that reaches beyond pure information leads the visitor to the imaginable realities of prehistoric times.
The exhibition has been designed by Tuomas Siitonen Office and Fantomatico Ltd, who won the design competition held in the spring of 2016 with their proposal Selviytyjät (Survivors).
“The exhibition has been designed to suit the space and emphasise its characteristic features. The aim of the media solutions has been to open up the objects and phenomena in the exhibition and to bring landscapes and locations into the space, even when their monumental scale exceeds the limits of the exhibition space. They act as windows to the historical present, to the people who lived here a long time ago.” (Tuomas Siitonen, Tuomas Siitonen Office, and Panu Heikkilä, Fantomatico Ltd)
The Prehistory Exhibition will open to the public on 1 April 2017, and it will remain open until further notice.
Experience the new prehistory! 1–2 April 2017: Experience the exhibition with a guide and hear the best stories about creating the exhibition at the opening weekend events from 12 pm to 4 pm. The exhibition includes a plentiful additional programme (in Finnish): http://www.kansallismuseo.fi/fi/esihistorian-tapahtumat
The script by Vesa-Pekka Herva and Antti Lahelma will be published in April, and it will be available at the National Museum Shop.
The National Museum of Finland is evolving, and all permanent exhibitions are being updated gradually from 2016 to 2019. The Prehistory Exhibition constitutes the first stage of the renewal. The main exhibition of the Finland 100 centenary year at the National Museum of Finland, Independent Finland, about Finns and Finland in the 1900s will open in December 2017.
Project Manager Hanna Forssell, tel. +358 295 33 6475, email@example.com
Come to Finland exhibition is a journey to the history of the brand of Finland
Come to Finland – Paradise Calling exhibition, opening at the National Museum of Finland on 17 February, shows how Finland was marketed abroad before and after the country was declared independent. Travel posters and slogans painted a picture of a paradise where one could experience the fascination of untouched nature while also getting to know the progressive, international, and open Finnish society.
Posters were the means for getting the message around the world, much like the Internet is today. Adventurous European and American tourists were invited to try something different and incredible in the Northern country through beautiful pictures and tempting slogans.
In addition to famous artists, Come to Finland exhibition presents works by lesser known poster artists and their contribution in really putting Finland on the map. Travel-related artefacts and souvenirs from the collections of the National Museum have been showcased alongside the posters. Perhaps they can remind us ever so slightly about an event or place we once heard of or visited?
Approximately 100 vintage posters are presented, all of which are authentic first editions. In addition, posters created by modern day graphic and other artists for the purposes of the exhibition are also presented; images of how they see and feel the Finland of today. An open poster competition is also related to the exhibition: the best works are showcased.
Come to Finland exhibition opens the Finland 100 jubilee year for the National Museum. Throughout the year, exhibitions will be centred around the theme of Finnishness and Finnish history from new and sometimes surprising perspectives.
The press conference for the exhibition will be organised on 16 February 2017 at 9 am at the National Museum's Studio.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Marketing Jonna Heliskoski, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 (0)295 33 6342
Curator Aino-Maija Kaila, email@example.com, tel. +358 (0)295 33 6362
Poster hunter Magnus Londen, Come to Finland Publishing, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 044 378 8448
Come to Finland
Opening hours 17 Feb – 28 May 2017 Tue–Sun 11 am–6 pm.
Tickets EUR 10/7, free entry for those under 18.
Image bank >> (please request for high resolution images: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Image bank >> (please request for high resolution images: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)