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Press release 30 October 2014

The World of Religions - the new exhibition of the Museum of Cultures

31 October 2014 - 7 June 2015
The new exhibition of the Museum of Cultures, The World of Religions, is opening at the National Museum of Finland. The World of Religions is the first large exhibition of the Museum of Cultures since the museum moved from Tennispalatsi in Spring 2013.

The World of Religions exhibition focuses on religions, a subject that is ancient but always topical. Although there is a lot of talk about the secularisation of society, the importance of religion has not decreased.
On the contrary; religion and secular power are closely connected today in various parts of the world. In addition to the world's religions, the exhibition sheds light on multicultural Finnishness, in which a wide spectrum of religions has firmly established itself.

Religion meets people's need to understand and explain the world - to find an explanation for their own existence and the great scheme of things. In everyday life, religion is seen in rituals that are connected to important events in people's lives, such as birth, adulthood, marriage and death.

The exhibition presents Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which originated in the Middle East, the Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Shinto as well as Chinese religions. Also introduced are Earth religion, new religious movements, syncretism and criticism of religion.

As a contrast to the distinguishing features, themed sections present common themes shared by many religions. These include praying, sacrifices, ritual purity, celebrations and seasonal rituals, life after death, the cult of the deceased, asceticism, pilgrimage, happiness, protection and missionary work. You may notice new aspects in familiar things when they are linked with wider themes shared by many religions.

Things and thoughts have circulated around the globe over hundreds and thousands of years, and local traditions have been mixed in with borrowed features. The exhibition includes objects like sculpture and ritual equipment, modern amulets to hang on the rear-view mirror and pilgrimage mementoes.

The exhibition features public events and an exhibition publication of 84 pages in Finnish, for sale at the Museum Shop.
For school groups, there is online material in Finnish on the significance of various symbols in different religions. Online material is at the Museum of Cultures webpage.

The script has been produced by the Museum of Cultures, the exhibition has been designed by architect Jenni Reuter, the lighting is by lighting designer Heli Nikunen, and the videos and soundscape are the work of Topi Heimonen / Telzer Media.

The World of Religions exhibition is open at the National Museum of Finland on 31 October 2014 and close on 7 June 2015.

Press photos

Further information on the exhibition: Pilvi Vainonen, Curator, Museum of Cultures, tel. +358 295 33 6432, pilvi.vainonen@kansallismuseo.fi
Further information on events:
- Maiju Tuisku, Museum Educator, National Museum of Finland, tel. +358 295 33 6453, maiju.tuisku@kansallismuseo.fi
- Leading Museum Educator Hanna Forssell, National Museum of Finland, tel. +358 295 33 6475, hanna.forssell@kansallismuseo.fi

National Museum of Finland, Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays and on 6 December and 24-25 December 2014.
Entry fee 2014: € 8 / € 6, persons under 18 free of charge.
Ticket office tel. +358
295 33 6901, Tue-Sun 11 am-6 pm.

Uskontojen maailma logo, design Jenni Reuter.

Media release 9 October 2014

Adventures in Siberia. Photographs by Kai Donner 1911‒1914

- exhibition at the National Museum of Finland,
from 10 October 2014 to 1 February 2015
The exhibition by Museum of Cultures features photographs by researcher of Siberian languages and cultures Kai Donner from his expeditions between 1911 and 1914. The year 2014 marks the centennary of Donner's expeditions, which were done 100 years ago.

Kai Donner (1888‒1935) was a Finnish linguist, ethnographer, explorer, writer and a political figure. He went on two expeditions to Siberia and his subject of study was the Selkup language, known as Ostyak-Samoyed at the time.

The first expedition began in August 1911, extending to the wilderness regions, tundra and taiga between the Ob and Yenisei rivers. Donner occasionally travelled in temperatures around -50 Celsius. The journey from the River Taz to the Ob was carried with reindeer in the company of Samoyeds through uninhabited tundra. This journey of over 500 kilometres was full of adventures with the threat of frostbite and even starvation.

Donner was a fieldworker and observer who participated and temporarily identified with the role of the native. He spoke Selkup and dressed, lived and travelled like the indigenous people on his expeditions. During his long journey through the tundra, Donner acquired a herd of reindeer in the manner of the Samoyeds. His identification with the local people was so perfect that Russian traders thought Donner was a Selkup.

In June 1914, Donner travelled once again to Siberia and succeeded in recording in his notes the language of the last Kamassians on the slopes of the Sayan Mountains. After the outbreak of the First World War, Donner had to interrupt his expedition earlier than planned and return to Finland in October 1914.

Donner had two cameras in Siberia. His Kodak No.2 Bulls-Eye box camera produced square (86.5 x 86.5 mm) pictures and the No. 3A Folding Pocket Kodak camera postcard-sized pictures (82 x 140 mm). Both were roll film cameras. Donner apparently developed the films himself on his journeys.

The photos of Kai Donner take you on a time travel to Siberia in the 1910´s. In the exhibition one can meet indigenous people, but also merchants, officials, priests, monks, doctors and descendants of Finns, Swedes and Germans exiled to Siberia in Russian towns and villages.

Donner succeeded in photographic shamans who agreed to have their pictures taken after hesitating for a long while. In addition, he photographed landscapes and the various stages of his travels.
Donner's collection of photographs containing over 500 negatives is included in the Picture Collections of the National Board of Antiquities.

When Kai Donner was born in 1888, Finland was an agricultural country in the process of industrialization and a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire. The rise of national romanticism in Finland included an emphasis on the past of the nation and the significance of the Finnish language. It was known that languages related to Finnish were spoken in Russia as far as Siberia, which became a focus of research in both the humanities and natural sciences.

To help the research, the Finno-Ugrian Society was founded in 1883. The new learned society was an initiative of Kai Donner's father, Senator Otto Donner, Professor of Sanskrit and comparative linguistics. With the authorization from the Finno-Ugrian Society, the 23-year-old graduate Kai Donner was sent in 1911 to study Eastern Samoyed languages, Selkup, Kamass, Enets and Ket.

"The memory of my father, and his work and goals have been good support for me, and M. A. Castrén's [linguist M. A. Castrén (1813‒1852)] endeavours in research, rich in troubles and setbacks, have encouraged me to do my best."
- preface of the book of Donner's travels

Donner was actively involved also in the Jaeger movement and in matters of politics and society as a figure trusted by General C. G. Mannerheim. After the Finnish Civil War of 1918, he was commandant of the Finnish-Russian border region throughout 1918. Donner returned to political activism in 1930, serving in the central leadership of the right-wing Lapua Movement.

Donner served as a supernumerary amanuensis (curator) of the Library of the Alexander University (present-day University of Helsinki) from 1900 to 1918 and defended his doctoral dissertation in 1923. In 1924 he was appointed docent (adjunct professor) Uralic languages at the University of Helsinki. He became acting professor of phonetics in 1934.

The manuscript to the photography exhibition is written by Professor Juha Janhunen PhD from The University of Helsinki and by photographer Peter Sandberg and by curator Ildikó Lehtinen from the Museum of Cultures. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Museum of Cultures, the Picture Collections of the National Board of Antiquities and the Finno-Ugrian Society.

The exhibition also includes events and a publication Kai Donner Linguist, ethnographer, photographer by the Finno-Ugrian Society and the National Board of Antiquities. On sale at the Museum Shop.

Adventures in Siberia. Photographs by Kai Donner 1911‒1914 is open at the National Museum of Finland on 10 October 2014 and close on 1 February 2015.

Press photos

Media release in pfd. format
pdf Adventures in Siberia Media release (35.2 KB)

For more information on the exhibition, please contact:
- Curator Heli Lahdentausta, Museum of Cultures tel. +358 295 33 6434, heli.lahdentausta@kansallismuseo.fi
- Curator Pilvi Vainonen, Museum of Cultures tel. +358 295 33 6432, pilvi.vainonen@kansallismuseo.fi
Additional press photo inquiries: Exhibition Assistant Jaana Pietilä, National Museum of Finland, tel. +358 295 33 6454, jaana.pietila@kansallismuseo.fi
More information on the events:
- Museum Educator Maiju Tuisku, National Museum of Finland, tel. +358 295 33 6453, maiju.tuisku@kansallismuseo.fi
- Leading Museum Educator Hanna Forssell, National Museum of Finland, tel. +358 295 33 6475, hanna.forssell@kansallismuseo.fi

The National Museum of Finland, Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki.
Open Tue-Sun 11 am - 6 pm, closed Mon. Museum also closed 6.12. and 24.-25.12.2014.
Entry fees 2014: € 8 / € 6, free under 18 years old.
Ticket Office: tel. +358 295 33 6901, Tue-Sun 11-18.

Pedot (Fedosei). Ketjoki Siperia 1912
Pedot (Fedosei). Ket River 1912. Photo: Kai Donner, National Board of Antiquities.
Kai Donnerin vene Ketjoella syksyllä 1912
Kai Donner's boat. Ket River 1912. Photo: Kai Donner, National Board of Antiquities.
Kai Donner Tymskissä.
Kai Donner in Tymsk. Tym River 1912. Photo: Kai Donner, National Board of Antiquities.
Šamaani Kotšijader.
The shaman Kochiyader. Tym River 1912. Photo: Kai Donner, National Board of Antiquities.
Karavaanimme lähtövalmiina.
The front part of our caravan is starting to move. Yägo on his skis opens the path in the deep snow. Turukhansk-Taz-Vakh 1913.
Photo: Kai Donner, National Board of Antiquities.
Jegorin poika. Abalakovo 1914.
Yegor's son. Abalakovo 1914.
Photo: Kai Donner, National Board of Antiquities.
Napasel Ed.
Napasel Ed. A Samoyed family with grandmother. Tym River 1912.
Photo: Kai Donner, National Board of Antiquities.

Пресс-релиз / для СМИ 09.10.2014

Выставка Приключения в Сибири. Фотографии Кая Доннера 1911‒1914

в Национальном музее с 10.10.2014 по 01.02.2015
Музей культур представляет выставку фотографий, сделанных исследователем языков и культуры коренных народов Сибири Каем Доннером во время экспедиций 1911‒1914 гг. В 2014 году исполнилось 100 лет с момента окончания экспедиций Доннера.

Кай Доннер (1888‒1935) - финский лингвист, этнограф, путешественник, писатель и политический деятель. Он совершил две экспедиции в Сибирь. Объектом исследования являлся язык селькупов, который в то время назывался остяко-самоедским языком.

Первая поездка началась в августе 1911 года и завершилась в июне 1913 года. Она была направлена на участок лесов, тундры и тайги между реками Обь и Енисей. Иногда поездка проходила при температуре 50 градусов мороза. От реки Таз до Оби маршрут проходил на оленьих упряжках через необитаемую тундру в сопровождении самоедов.

Экспедиция длиной более 500 километров была полна приключений, а также опасности погибнуть от переохлаждения или голода. Также эта поездка давала возможность пожить обычной жизнью аборигенов. Объектом исследования являлся язык селькупов, который в то время назывался остяко-самоедским языком.

Доннер был полевым исследователем, наблюдателем, который принимал участие и временно вживался в роль коренного жителя. Он говорил на селькупском языке, одевался и жил, а также передвигался в своих поездках как коренной житель этого региона. Во время длительных переходов по тундре Доннер, так же как и самоеды, брал стадо оленей. Он настолько хорошо воплотился в этот образ, что русские купцы считали его селькупом.

Годом позже, в июне 1914, Доннер опять отправился в Сибирь. На хребтах Саян ему удалось записать язык последних камасинцев. С началом первой мировой войны Доннер был вынужден прекратить своё путешествие, и в октябре 1914 он вернулся в Финляндию.

Доннер взял с собой в Сибирь две фотокамеры фирмы Kodak: камеру No. 2 Bulls-Eye, с помощью которой он делал квадратные снимки (86,5 x 86,5 мм), и камеру No. 3A Folding Pocket Kodak, которая делала снимки в формате почтовой открытки (82 x 140 мм). Обе камеры были плёночными. Естественно, проявкой плёнок Доннер занимался в путешествиях сам.

Фотографии Кая Доннера переносят зрителя в Сибирь 10-х годов XX века. На них запечатлены представители коренных народов, а также встречавшиеся Доннеру в русских деревнях и городах купцы, врачи, чиновники и потомки сосланных в Сибирь финнов и шведов. Ему даже удалось сфотографировать шаманов, которые после долгих колебаний всё же согласились на съёмку. Доннер также увековечил пейзажи и различные этапы своих путешествий. 

Коллекция фотографий Доннера, насчитывающая более 500 негативов, входит в собрание Фотоархива Музейного ведомства Финляндии.

Когда Кай Доннер родился в 1888 году, Финляндия была Великим Княжеством в составе России и сельскохозяйственной страной, ставшей на путь индустриализации. Благодаря подъёму национального романтизма особое внимание стало уделяться национальной старине и значению финского языка. Стало известно, что на языках, родственных финскому, говорят в России вплоть до самой Сибири, и Сибирь стала объектом не только гуманитарных, но и естествоведческих исследований.

C целью поддержки научно-исследовательской деятельности в 1883 году было организовано Финно-угорское общество. Произошло это по инициативе отца Кая Доннера, сенатора, профессора санскрита и сравнительной лингвистики Отто Доннера. В 1911 году «Общество» отправило 23-летнего кандидата философских наук Кая Доннера в экспедицию по изучению языков восточных самодийцев, селькупов, камасинцев, энцев и кеты.

«Память моего отца вкупе с его работой и стремлениями оказали мне хорошую поддержку, а богатая исследовательская работа, проведённая благодаря заботам и усилиям М. А. Кастрена [языковед M. A. Кастрен (1813‒1852)] побудила меня действовать как можно лучше»
- написал Доннер во вступлении к своему путевому дневнику.

Из своего первого путешествия Доннер вернулся в совсем другое Великое Княжество, нежели то, из которого он уехал в 1911 году. Он принял активное участие в егерском движении и являлся доверенным лицом К. Г. Маннергейма, выполняя его общественные поручения. После завершения Гражданской войны он служил в 1918 году комендантом приграничного района на границе с Россией. К политической деятельности Доннер вернулся вновь в 1930 году, когда он работал в руководстве Лапуанского движения.

В 1923 году Доннер защитил докторскую диссертацию. Он служил внештатным профессором в библиотеке Хельсинкского университета в 1909-1918 гг., а в 1924 году он был назначен доцентом отделения уральской лингвистики. С 1934 года Доннер работал исполняющим обязанности профессора фонетики.

Выставка является результатом сотрудничества Музея культур, Фотоархива Музейного ведомства и Финно-угорского общества. К выставке будут приурочены несколько общественных мероприятий и выпуск Музейным ведомством и Финно-угорским обществом издания Kai Donner Linguist, ethnographer, photographer.

Приключения в Сибири. Фотографии Кай Доннера 1911‒1914 в Национальном музее 10.10.2014 - 01.02.2015.

Пресс фотографии

Пресс-релиз pdf.
pdf Siberia Press release in Russian (51.0 KB)

Подробная информацию о выставке:
- интендант Музея Культур Хели Лахдентауста, тел. +358 295 33 6434, heli.lahdentausta@kansallismuseo.fi
- куратор Музея Культур Пилви Ваинонен, тел. +358 295 33 6432, pilvi.vainonen@kansallismuseo.fi
Запросы на получение дополнительных фотоматериалов для прессы: ассистент выставки Яана Пиетиля, Национальный музей, тел. +358 295 33 6454, jaana.pietila@kansallismuseo.fi
Подробная информация о мероприятиях:
- музейный лектор Майу Туйску, Национальный музей, тел. +358 295 33 6453, maiju.tuisku@kansallismuseo.fi
- музейный лектор Ханна Форсселл, Национальный музей, тел. +358 295 33 6475, hanna.forssell@kansallismuseo.fi

Национальный музей Финляндии, Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki.
Режим работы музея: Вт-Вс с 11:00 до 18:00, ПН - выходной день. Музей закрыт 6 декабря и 24-25 декабря 2014 года.
Стоимость входных билетов 2014: 8 / 6 евро, дети до 18 лет бесплатно.
Касса музея - тел. +358 295 33 6901, ВТ-ВС с 11:00 до 18:00.
Pedot (Fedosei). Ketjoki Siperia 1912
Педот (Федосей). Река Кеть 1912.
Фото: Кай Доннер, Фотоархив Музейного ведомства Финляндии.
Kai Donnerin vene Ketjoella syksyllä 1912
Лодка Кай Доннера. Река Кеть 1912.
Фото: Кай Доннер, Фотоархив Музейного ведомства Финляндии.
Kai Donner Tymskissä.
Кай Доннер в Тымском. Река Тым 1912.
Фото: Кай Доннер, Фотоархив Музейного ведомства Финляндии.
Šamaani Kotšijader.
Шаман Кочиядер. Река Тым 1912.
Фото: Кай Доннер, Фотоархив Музейного ведомства Финляндии.
Karavaanimme lähtövalmiina.
Олений караван отправляется в дорогу.
Яго идет впереди и прокладывает путь с лыжами в глубоком снеге.
Туруханск-Таз-Вах 1913.
Фото: Кай Доннер, Фотоархив Музейного ведомства Финляндии.
Jegorin poika. Abalakovo 1914.
Сын Егора. Абалаково 1914.
Фото: Кай Доннер, Фотоархив Музейного ведомства Финляндии.
Napasel Ed.
Напасел Эд. Самоедская семья с бабушкой. Река Тым 1912.
Фото: Кай Доннер, Фотоархив Музейного ведомства Финляндии.

Media release 5 June 2014

Alexander III and Finland - Imperial Summer Holidays

Exhibition at the National Museum of Finland, 6 June - 14 September 2014
Albert Benois Salmi Ahvenanmaan saaristossa 1890
Albert Benois: A Sound in the Åland Archipelago, W Finland 1890.
Photo: Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.
Aleksanteri III ja Maria Fjodorovna kabinettikuva
Cabinet card photograph. Emperor Alexander III of Russia and Empress Maria Feodorovna. Photo: National Board of Antiquities Picture Collections.
Tarjoilulautanen posliinia 1883
Porcelain serving dish with gilding from 1883.
Photo: Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.
Keisarinnan kirjottu sermi, yksityiskohta.
Empress's embroided screen, detail. Designed by Albert Edelfelt and Gunnar Berndtson, embroidered by Sophie Snellman 1885.
Photo: National Board of Antiquities, Soile Tirilä.
The National Museum of Finland's summer exhibition, Alexander III and Finland - Imperial Summer Holidays, uses a mixture of artworks and everyday objects to offer visitors an insight into the summer holidays enjoyed by Emperor Alexander III of Russia and his spouse Empress Maria Feodorovna in Finland in the late 19th century.

Like many today, the Imperial family considered Finland an attractive and safe destination to visit. Here, they could dispense with protocol, relax while cruising around the Finnish archipelago on board the steam yacht Tsarevna, go on shore to mingle with ordinary people and to stop off at deserted islands for leisurely lunches.

Alexander visited the Grand Duchy of Finland on 31 different occasions, both before and after his coronation. His visits left an indelible mark on the Finnish landscape and place names, including sites such as Kotkan Keisarinsatama (Kotka Imperial Port), Langinkosken keisarillinen kalastusmaja (Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge) in SE Finland and Dagmarin lähde (Dagmar's well, a reference to the Empress's maiden name) in Raasepori SW Finland.

Gift items and memorabilia, as well as stories were used to maintain memories of past visits. For Finnish people, the emperors were a personification of imperial Russia's power and might, and a close connection to them as individuals mattered greatly.

The exhibition comprises personal items and works of art that once belonged to the imperial couple, including portraits of the pair painted by Ivan Kramskoi, Finnish landscapes by Alexander Gine, Albert Benois's masterful watercolour depictions of Åland Islands W Finland, as well as items of furniture, metal objects, porcelain from the Imperial Factory in St. Petersburg as well as crystal jugs by the famous Russian goldsmith, Peter Carl Fabergé.

The artists and craftsmen responsible for the artworks and other artefacts came from diverse international backgrounds. In many cases, their parents had been born in Germany before re-locating to Russia in the early 19th century.

Alexander III (1845-1894) rose to the throne in 1881 following his father's death in a bomb attack. His spouse, Maria Feodorovna (1847-1928) was born Princess Dagmar of Denmark. Their marriage produced six children, including the eldest, Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia.

The Alexander III and Finland - Imperial Summer Holidays exhibition is organised in collaboration with The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and the Museum of Kymenlaakso, based in Kotka SE Finland.
The exhibition is complemented by a book in Finnish, English and Russian, available from the National Museum of Finland Museum Shop.

Press release in pdf-format

Promotional images

For interview requests and promotional material, please contact Jaana Pietilä, Exhibition Assistant, tel: +358 (0)40 128 6454, jaana.pietila(at)nba.fi

Further information about the exhibition
is available from Elina Anttila, Director of Museum Services, tel: +358 (0)40128 6131 or Aino-Maija Kaila, Curator, tel: +358 (0)40 128 6362, aino-maija.kaila(at)nba.fi

National Museum of Finland, Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki.
Museum opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11-18, Mondays closed. The museum will also remain closed 20 - 22 June 2014.
Entry fee EUR 8 / 6 €, under 18 years old free of charge.
Ticket office tel: +358 (0)40 128 6469, Tuesday to Sunday 11-18.

ДЛЯ СМИ 05.06.2014

Александр III и Финляндия - Императорский летний отдых

Выставка в Национальном музее 06.06 - 14.09.2014
Albert Benois Salmi Ahvenanmaan saaristossa 1890А. Н. БЕНУА (1852-1936). Пролив на Аландских островах. 1890. яхте «Царевна». Русский музей, Санкт-Петербург
Aleksanteri III ja Maria Fjodorovna kabinettikuva
Подносное блюдо. Завод «Сименс и Гальске» (белье), село Хмелево Старорусского уезда Новгородской губернии; живописное заведение Ивана. Семенова (роспись), Санкт-Петербург 1883. Русский музей, Санкт-Петербург

Tarjoilulautanen posliinia 1883
Подносное блюдо. Завод «Сименс и Гальске» (белье), село Хмелево Старорусского уезда Новгородской губернии; живописное заведение Ивана. Семенова (роспись), Санкт-Петербург 1883. Русский музей, Санкт-Петербург
Keisarinnan kirjottu sermi, yksityiskohta.
Ширма. дизайн Альберта Эдельфельта и Гуннара Берндтсона; Вышивка Софи Снеллман 1885.
Национальный музей Финляндии
Фотография: Музейное ведомство, Сойле Тириля.
Летняя выставка Национального музея «Александр III и Финляндия - летний отдых императора» предлагает ознакомиться с произведения- ми искусства и разнообразными предметами быта, рассказывающи- ми о том, каким был летний отдых императорской четы - императора Александра III и Марии Федоровны, в Финляндии, в конце 19 века.

Как и многие наши туристы-современники, императорская семья счи-тала Финляндию приятным и безопасным местом отдыха. В Финлян-дии они могли на время забыть об этикете, насладиться неспешной морской прогулкой под парусами на яхте «Царевна» по живописным уголкам архипелага, сойти на берег и пообщаться с островитянами, устроить пикник на побережье.

Александр приезжал в Великое княжество Финляндское 31 раз, являясь как наследником престола, так и императором. Его посещения остави-ли след в топонимике финских прибрежных районов. В Котке появился Императорский порт (Keisarinsatama), в Раасепори - названный в честь императрицы источник Дагмар, а в Лангинкоски был построен импера-торская рыбацкая изба.

Воспоминания о приезде венценосных особ со-хранились в виде подарков, сувениров и рассказов. Император служил для жителей Финляндии олицетворением российской власти, и близкое
знакомство с ним как с человеком было очень важно.

На выставке будут представлены принадлежавшие чете предметы и про-изведения искусства, например, эскизы образов императора работы Ива-на Крамского, финские пейзажи кисти Александра Гине, великолепные акварели Аландских островов Альберта Бенуа, мебель, металлическая галантерея, изделия Императорского фарфорового завода и хрусталь знаменитого русского ювелира Петера Карла Фаберже.

По своему происхождению художники и мастера были представителями многих национальностей. Родители целого ряда из них родились в Герма-нии и в начале 19 века переехали с семьей в Россию. Император Александр III (1845 - 1894) взошел на российский престол в 1881 году, сменив своего отца, погибшего в результате взрыва бомбы. Его супруга, Мария Федоровна (1847 - 1928), была принцессой датского королевского дома и в девичестве носила имя Дагмар. У четы родилось шестеро детей, старший из которых -Николай II, стал последним импера-тором России.

Выставка Александр III и Финляндия - летний отдых императора
подготовлена в сотрудничестве с Русским музеем Санкт-Петербурга и расположенным в Котка музеем Кюменлааксо.

К выставке выпущена публикация на финском, английском и русском
языках, купить ее можно в музейном магазине Национального музея.

Пресс-релиз pdf

фотоматериалы доступны

Интервью и запросы на материалы: ассистент выставки Яана Пиетиля, тел. +358 40 128 6454, jaana.pietila(at)nba.fi

Более подробную информацию могут предоставить директор
музейного обслуживания Элина Анттила, тел. +358 40 128 6131 и
куратор Айно-Майя Кайла, тел. +358 40 128 6362, aino-maija.kaila(at)nba.fi

Национальный музей Финляндии, Маннерхейминтие 34, Хельсинки, Финляндия.
Музей открыт со вторника по воскресенье с 11 до 18, закрыт по понедельникам. Музей закрыт также с 20 по 22 июня 2014 года.
Входная плата 8/ 6 e, до 18 лет бесплатно.
Билетная касса, тел. +358 40 128 6469, вторник-воскресенье 11 - 18.

Press Release 9 April 2014

The Spirit of Budō: The History of Japan's Martial Arts

Exhibition at the National Museum of Finland from 11 April to 8 June 2014
Mogami-dō haramaki ja suji-kabuto
Armour of mogami-dō haramaki (belly protector) type with veined helmet of suji-kabuto type. Modern reproductions. Photo: Japan Foundation.

A riding archer of the Ogasawara-family. Spirit of Samurai 2014 Yabusame Event 1 June 2014. Photo: M. Moriyama, The Kansai Japan-Finland Society.
The exhibition "The Spirit of Budō: The History of Japan's Martial Arts" will open at the National Museum of Finland on Friday 11 April 2014 and remain open until Sunday 8 June 2014. The exhibition features richly decorated armour, helmets, sword mountings and bows. The oldest exhibits are from the late 1800s.

The exhibition introduces visitors to the history of Japan's martial arts, which began as skills that were needed on the battlefield. Over the centuries, martial arts became sports that develop both physical and spiritual skills.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Japan Foundation, the Embassy of Japan in Finland and the National Museum of Finland and will be open at the National Museum of Finland from 11 April to 8 June 2014.

The exhibition includes tachi and uchigatana sword mountings from the late 1800s and modern reproductions of ō-yoroi (full armour) and mogami-dō haramaki-type (belly protector) armour and hoshi-kabuto (starhelmet), suji-kabuto (veined helmet) and kawari kabuto (strange helmet) helmets. The bows are from the 1900s.

The exhibition has previously been on display in India, Thailand, Russia, Turkey, the United States, Canada and several European and South American countries.

The exhibition is part of the "Spirit of Samurai 2014" event series, which will culminate in a horse-riding event in Helsinki on Sunday 1 June. The group of riding samurai of the Ogasawara family, which has upheld the tradition and Shinto ritual of Yabusame mounted archery for 32 generations, will give their first performance in the Nordic countries.

Event days will be held at the National Museum of Finland on Saturday 12 April and on Saturday 17 May 2014.

"The Spirit of Budō: The History of Japan's Martial Arts" was planned and produced against a background of strong overseas interest in Japan's martial-arts culture. In this exhibition, we seek the understanding of viewers about the history of Japanese martial arts - from battlefield combat techniques (bujutsu) to popular sports or physical exercise tempering body and spirit (budō).
The Japan Foundation engages in international cultural exchange activities in cooperation with over 130 countries around the world, focusing on Arts and Cultural Exchange, Japanese Language Education Overseas, and Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange.

This exhibition consists of two parts: in the first part, reproductions/originals of historical weapons such as bows and arrows, suits of armor, helmets, and so on are shown, and the development and changes of Japanese martial arts from 8th century to 19th century are explained.

Many of ancient types of armour and weapons have not survived to the present or are too fragile for international transport. That is why we decided to include reproductions, which would give the appearance of suits of armour and helmets at the time of original production even more vividly.
The second part deals with the reorganization of bujutsu (battlefield combat techniques) to budō in the 19th and 20th centuries, and how the spirit of martial arts is still inherent in the daily life of Japanese people today. 

Ten budō associations are also introduced and the clothes and implements such as bamboo swords, protectors, bows and arrows, and so on, which are used by players and students in the present day, are also to be seen.

Through this exhibition the viewers will become aware of not only the history of Japanese martial arts, but also of people's aesthetic awareness and creativity, and Japan's social history and the Japanese way of thinking from a new angle.

Photos related to the press release

Press release (pdf)

Spirit of Budo side event program (pdf)

Requests for media images: Curator Satu Frondelius, tel. +358 40 128 6390, satu.frondelius@nba.fi

More information on the "Spirit of Samurai 2014" event series at www.spiritofsamurai.com: Producer Heikki Mäenpää Harjula Production Ltd, tel. +358 50 564 4777

Further information about the events: Curator of Education Maiju Tuisku tel. +358 (0)40 128 6453, National Museum of Finland, maiju.tuisku@nba.fi

The National Museum of Finland, Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki.
Museum open Tue-Sun 11 am-6 pm, closed on Mondays. Closed 18 April and 1 May 2014.
Entry fee € 8 / 6 euro, persons under 18 free of charge.
Ticket sales office tel. +358 40 128 6469, Tue-Sun 11 am-6 pm.

Press Release 14 November 2013

AHO & SOLDAN - Automobiles & Helsinki photography exhibition

at the National Museum of Finland

15 November 2013 - 16 March 2014
 Autot&helsinki eduskuntatalo
Helsinki and 1936 Chevrolet Master, 1930s. In the background, the tower of The National Museum of Finland can be seen. Photo: AHO & SOLDAN

Autot&helsinki kamppi shell

In the early 1930s, Shell had a petrol and motor oil station on Heikinkatu Street (current Mannerheimintie Road) where Lasipalatsi is now, but after the construction of Lasipalatsi the service station was moved further west to Simonkenttä. Use of the name Shell began in 1930. The photograph is from 1938 or 1939. Photo: AHO & SOLDAN
The National Museum of Finland is organising an exhibition "AHO & SOLDAN - Automobiles & Helsinki", which is based on car photographs taken by Heikki Aho and Björn Soldan in Helsinki from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Writer Juhani Aho's sons Heikki Aho (1895-1961) and Björn Soldan (1902-1953) were two of the most important portrayers of the developing Finland in the 1920s-1950s. Helsinki and its street views and cars play a major role in the extensive photography and film production of AHO & SOLDAN, the photography and film company established by Heikki Aho and Björn Soldan in 1924.

Heikki and Björn grew up in the artistic Ahola family home in Tuusula and moved to Helsinki in 1911. The capital became an ideal environment and focus for the brothers' camera art. They recorded Helsinki phenomena as an everyday history of the independent republic from its first decade to 1945. The car and the view on the background were a grand composition often repeated by AHO & SOLDAN.

Heikki Aho and Björn Soldan acquired their artistic influences and technical skills in 1920s Germany, the home of the Bauhaus school ideology. Aho and Soldan were cinematographers and photographic artists of the new generation. The film cameras of AHO & SOLDAN adored the street life of the motorised capital and worshipped at the motorists' altars erected by Shell for car service and fuel distribution.
The exhibition features photographs by AHO & SOLDAN and films in themed compilations.

Their prolific efforts were buried in archives in the 1960s. Few living today know that Heikki Aho and Björn Soldan's film company built the foundations of Finnish cinema along with their competitor Erkki Karu and his company Suomi-Filmi.

The exhibition is divided into sets based on streets, places and themes. The exhibition will be complemented with various car-themed items, including a 1926 Ford Model T from the automobile and road museum Mobilia. Ford's assembly line manufactured over 15 million Model T Fords between 1914 and 1927. Approximately 7,000 of them were brought to Finland, guaranteeing Ford a dominant market share of car trade in the 1920s.

The exhibition is open at the National Museum of Finland from 15 November 2013 to 16 March 2014. The exhibition is on display in exhibition rooms 131 and 132 on the museum's first floor.

Press Release 12 September 2013

Miranda - the Roma Holocaust.

Who's afraid of the white man?

Exhibition at the National Museum of Finland 13 September 2013 - 23 March 2014

 Mustalaisen tie kuvakollaasi Veijo Baltzar Drom ry
The Road of the Roma, photo collage by Veijo Baltzar. Photo: Drom Association.

Sininen hetki Veijo Baltzar 2013
Blue moment, Veijo Baltzar 2013. Photo: Drom Association.
The 'Miranda' exhibition presents both the recent European history from the Roma perspective and the dynamic Roma culture and current conditions of the Roma people. The symbol of the exhibition and its theme are a true story of Miranda, the daughter of a Slovak Roma family, who was taken to a concentration camp with her family.

The exhibition tells about the civilised world that did not know, see or hear what was taking place while enacting laws and creating rules that led the Roma people to concentration camps and gas chambers during the Second World War.

'Miranda' includes written and visual historic material; laws and regulations and, on the other hand, the survival story of the Roma people. The exhibition also includes Roma clothing dating back to the Second World War and separate installations and art describing the fates of the Roma people.

"The gypsy question … is a racial question for us today. […] The race biological research on Gypsies is an unconditional prerequisite for the final solution of the gypsy question".
Dr. Adolf Würth, member of staff of the "Racial Hygiene Research Unit" in a lecture at a meeting of the "German Association for Racial Research", Sep 1937

"Rats, bedbugs and fleas are also natural occurrences in the same way as the Jews and Gypsies […] All existence is a struggle. We must therefore gradually biologically eradicate all these vermin".
Dr. Karl Hannemann in the journal of the German Association of National Socialist Physicians, Aug 1938

"Poland is the land of the subhuman. Poles, Jews, Gypsies should be mentioned in the same breath."
Joseph Goebbels Reich Minister of Propaganda at Reich press conference of 24th Oct 1939

"Gypsies, suspicious persons, hawkers, etc. + unpleasant foreigners"
The heading of a folder at the Finnish State Police (1919-1948), the National Archives of Finland

"After the war hardly anybody knew about the Roma Holocaust. It took a very long time before I dared to speak about Auschwitz."
Lily Franz, a German Roma survivor of Auschwitz                

The Miranda exhibition has been produced by the Finnish Association for Romani Arts and Culture Drom led by Veijo Baltzar in 2011. The exhibition will tour Finland for three years and launch its European tour in 2015. The objective of the Miranda Project is to improve awareness of the Roma people living in Europe and Finland, the Second World War and intercultural relationships.

'Miranda' presents the reality of the Roma Holocaust. Instead of the suffering of its victims, it focuses on the measures undertaken during the Second World War, the decisions, laws and orders. This exhibition presents European history and the problematic of racism, persecution and ethnic relations.

The exhibition is part of the more wide-ranging 'The Conscience of Europe' project (by Drom Association) dedicated to the Roma question in Europe. The goal of the project is to reform EU's Roma and minority policy. The exhibition will be open at the National Museum of Finland from 13 September 2013 to 23 March 2014.

The exhibition includes an event day on Sat 14 September and a lecture series by two Finnish politicians discussing the issues of multicultural society on Sat 12 October and Tue 19 November 2013.
Detailed programme (in Finnish)

pdf Press Release Miranda (1.21 MB)

Press Release 25 April 2013

The Emerging World - Map treasures from the A. E. Nordenskiöld Collection

The National Museum of Finland 26 April 2013 - 27 October 2013

 Nordenskiöld Lehdistökuva 1

World map from the Italian cosmographer and cartographer Giuseppe Rosaccio's (1530 - ca. 1620) small-sized atlas Il mondo e sve parti cioe Evropa, Affrica, Asia, et America, published in Florence in 1595.
Photo: National Library of Finland.

Nordenskiöld Lehdistökuva 3

Published in Antwerp in 1570, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum compiled by the Dutchman Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) has been called the world's first modern atlas.
The work became so popular that new editions in many languages were printed almost every year until 1612.
Maps of the world, Europe, and America are contained in this edition, published in Antwerp in 1574.
Photo: National Library of Finland.
The exhibition depicts the emergence of the geographical world image and the transfer of accumulated knowledge to maps. The maps in the Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld Collection help tell this magnificent story, guiding the exhibition visitor through the ways in which the world has been perceived over the centuries.
The adventure reveals how the shape and size of the earth was already understood in Antiquity, and how the thirst for knowledge, the glitter of gold, and spices lured Europeans to undertake ambitious exploratory expeditions in search of power and riches.

In historical times maps were not only an image of the geographical environment; they were also used to teach Christian redemption and the path to Heaven. From ancient times maps have been used to clarify land ownership, organise taxation, and plan military troop deployments. Maps have been used to glorify nations' rulers. Elements of mythology and fantasy also replaced factual information on maps.

Containing materials from the 1400s to the early 1900s, the National Library of Finland's A. E. Nordenskiöld Collection is one of the most valuable collections of old maps in the world. There are almost 24,000 maps - atlases, map collections, and map sheets - printed before the year 1800. The accumulation of the collection began when the naturalist and explorer of the northern regions Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901) began to collect old maps and travel accounts in preparation for demanding research expeditions to the Arctic Ocean.
During the time he made ten expeditions, and particularly afterwards, Nordenskiöld became increasingly fascinated with the history of mapmaking, still an almost completely unstudied field in the late 1800s. His thorough and systematic research methods made him a pioneer in the history of cartography.

After Nordenskiöld's death in 1901, the unique collection was acquired for Finland. The significance of the collection is borne out by the fact that when UNESCO established Memory of the World Register to preserve and protect the world's documentary heritage, the A. E. Nordenskiöld Collection was among the first sites chosen for the list in 1997.

The first part of the exhibition presents the collection and the great story of the world's emerging cartographic image. The second part depicts A. E. Nordenskiöld's multi-phased life and achievements in many scientific disciplines, as well as the colourful times in which he lived. Nordenskiöld was born, attended school, studied, and began his eventually distinguished researcher career in Finland.
Although he was forced to leave his home country owing to his outspoken political opinions, new opportunities soon arose in Sweden, where he became one of his era's most renowned scientists. Nordenskiöld also influenced many aspects of societal life internationally as well as in Sweden.

The exhibition has been organised in co-operation with the National Library of Finland. Content design and script: Chief Intendant Jouni Kuurne, Professor Tapio Markkanen, MA Leena Miekkavaara and MA Anna-Maija Pietilä-Ventelä.

The materials are drawn from the collections of the National Library of Finland and the National Museum of Finland. The overall picture is augmented with portions of the exhibition loaned from the John Nurminen Foundation, the University of Helsinki's Geological Museum, the Museum of Technology, and the Heureka Science Center.

Museum visitors have a chance to browse exhibition texts with their own mobile device, and an opportunity to return to the texts later on for example from home. Browse Exhibition texts.

The exhibition is associated with a diverse range of educational and peripheral programmes. The first event day will be arranged on Sat 27 April 2013.

A. E. Nordenskiöld's childhood home Alikartano Manor (Frugård) in Mäntsälä is now a museum open to the public during the summer 1 June-31 August, Wed-Sun 11-17 (closed 21-22 June).

The 25th International Conference on the History of Cartography will be held in Helsinki 30 June - 5 July 2013.

In connection with the exhibition, a book The Emerging World - Map Treasures from the A. E. Nordenskiöld Collection. written by Tapio Markkanen, Leena Miekkavaara, and Anna-Maija Pietilä-Ventelä describes the expansion of the geographical world image, A. E. Nordenskiöld's life, and his unique collection.
The lavishly illustrated trilingual (Finnish, Swedish, English) work published by the Finnish Literature Society SKS will be available at the National Museum's museum shop.
More information of the book: Maija Hakala, SKS Kirjat, tel. + 358 (0)201 131 214, maija.hakala(at)finlit.fi

Press Release 25 April 2012

Suomi Finland 1900

New Permanent Exhibition of the 20th century Finland and Finns

At The National Museum of Finland from 26.4.2012 -


Jukebox AMI JHJ 200 from 1958. Photo: Markku Haverinen, National Board of Antiquities.

Olympialaisten ohjelma

Helsinki Olympic Games  programmes from 1952. Photo: Markku Haverinen, National Board of Antiquities.
 Suomi Finland 1900-logo
Themes of the new 20th century exhibition of Finland and Finns are daily life, cuisine, traffic, communication, as well as developments in politics and state. In what type of circumstances did Finns from different parts of Finland live and how was their daily life?

The 20th century was a time of great upheaval and fast economic and technological development. After Finland became independent on 6 December 1917, the country went through several wars and suffered great losses, but Finland and the Finns always recovered. In less than one hundred years, the country transformed from a poor, agrarian part of the Russian empire into an independent, wealthy Western industrial and welfare state.
What kind of memories does the 20th century bring to your mind? Every one of us has our own  images and memories from the last century. We hope that this exhibition brings back memories and evokes feelings, and that it will also help people to understand Finland as it is today.

In this exhibition at the National Museum of Finland, in addition to the objects and photographs you can experience the mood on a 1960s car drive in a VW Beetle from 1966, listen to music, watch films and find more information about the 20th century on the new multi-touch tables.

In cooperation:



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.

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

Press release 11 November 2010

Dream Homes - Dollhouses at the National Museum of Finland

12 November 2010 - 2 September 2012

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 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

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:
- Photographer Ismo Luukkonen, tel. 044 906 4933, e-mail: ismo.luukkonen(at)pp1.inet.fi 

The Artist's home page:

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.

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.

For more information, please contact:

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

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.

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 release 11.6.2009

Icons and People in the War Years

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.

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

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.

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

[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.
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.

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.

Press release 28.11.2007

Guess the Christmas Carol - A Christmas Exhibition

25.11.2007- 6.1.2008

enkelikortti 200 x
A Christmas Card sent to Author, Professor of history
Zachris Topelius (1818-98).
National Board of Antiquities,
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.

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

Press release 23.5.2007

Åland - Ahvenanmaa!

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.

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.