The Ateneum’s 2017 national programme to celebrate the centenary of Finland’s independence

The Ateneum Art Museum’s 2017 programme will celebrate the centenary of Finnish independence and will take a look back at the different periods of Finnish art. After closing the exhibition on the painter Amedeo Modigliani, on 5 February 2017, the programme will focus on Finnish art. The names to look out for in the exhibitions opening in February are the graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä and the art collector Tuomo Seppo, whose donated collection will be presented in the exhibition Light Changes Everything.

The Alvar Aalto exhibition, to open in May, will bring to light new aspects in the work of the most famous Finnish architect and designer. Starting in October, we will focus on exploring the historical significance of the von Wright brothers for Finnish art, culture and science. In addition, two projects will see art from the Ateneum collections exhibited at art museums around the country, as part of Finland’s centenary year celebrations.

Exhibitions at the Ateneum Art Museum

Amedeo Modigliani, 28 Oct 2016–5 Feb 2017
The Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) is known particularly for his sensuous portrayals of women, which have influenced the worlds of visual arts and fashion. Modigliani, who died on the verge of fame at the early age of 35, is one of the most interesting artists in modern art today. The artist had a Bohemian circle of acquaintances in Paris, including Pablo Picasso and Anna Akhmatova. The retrospective constitutes the largest Modigliani exhibition in the Nordic countries to date.

 Light Changes Everything – The Tuomo Seppo Collection, 28 Feb–16 Apr 2017
The Kajaani-based French and English teacher Tuomo Seppo (born 1937) has dedicated his entire life to collecting Finnish art. He has decided to donate his collection of almost 2,000 works to the Ateneum Art Museum. Works by Ina Colliander, Reino Hietanen, Pentti Kaskipuro, Tapani Raittila, Nina Terno and Ellen Thesleff form the backbone of the collection. Seppo’s sensitive and personal collection opens a unique perspective on the history of Finnish art in the 20th century.

Tuulikki Pietilä, 28 Feb–9 Apr 2017
Tuulikki Pietilä (1917–2009) is one of key Finnish graphic artists of the post-Second World War period. This exhibition will present an overview of the extensive body of work by the experimental and technically versatile artist, in honour of the centenary of her birth. The Pietilä collection, bequeathed to the Ateneum, includes almost all the artist’s works.

Alvar Aalto – Art and the Modern Form, 12 May–24 Sept 2017
This retrospective exhibition, presented in various countries, will bring to light new aspects in the work of Finland’s internationally most recognised architect and designer. The exhibition is co-produced by the Vitra Design Museum and the Alvar Aalto Museum. At the Ateneum, the exhibition will be expanded with the inclusion of works by Aalto’s closest artist friends, including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger and László Moholy-Nagy.

The von Wright brothers, 27 Oct 2017–25 Feb 2018
The artist brothers Magnus, Wilhelm and Ferdinand von Wright, who lived during the period of the Grand Duchy of Finland, are known as painters of landscapes, still lifes and nature subjects, and as scientific illustrators. This exhibition will introduce new perspectives, as it explores the historical significance of the von Wright brothers for Finnish art, culture and science. Adding a contemporary art angle to the exhibition are the artists Sanna Kannisto and Jussi Heikkilä.

Also showing: Stories of Finnish Art
The renewed collection exhibition shows the Finns’ most beloved classic works of art in a new light. It highlights new works and draws new parallels, as it forges connections to the history of Finland and the world. The letters, sketchbooks, postcards and photographs on display in the archive hall vividly illustrate the daily lives of the artists. The dense, salon exhibition style recalls the history of the building, going back more than a century. The exhibition now also features modern art from the 1950s to 1970s.

Travelling exhibitions to celebrate Finland’s centenary

Classics on tour 2017
The Ateneum’s most beloved classics – Helene Schjerfbeck’s The Convalescent (1888) and Eero Järnefelt’s Under the Yoke (Burning the Brushwood) (1893) – will go on tour to ten Finnish art museums, as part of Finland’s centenary year celebrations. From February 2017, The Convalescent will be on display in Maarianhamina, Tampere, Kokkola, Kemi and Inari, while Under the Yoke (Burning the Brushwood) will be on display in Turku, Hämeenlinna, Lappeenranta, Joensuu and Jyväskylä, in this order. The works will be on display at each museum for approximately a month.

Stories of Finnish Art – the Ateneum Collection on Tour
One of the projects in the Finland 100 programme, a touring version of the Stories of Finnish Art collection exhibition, will be on display at art museums in Rovaniemi, Kuopio and Oulu. Artists featured in this exhibition include Wäinö Aaltonen, Fanny Churberg, Albert Edelfelt, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Eero Järnefelt, Essi Renvall, Tyko Sallinen and Ellen Thesleff. To be put together separately, the exhibition will explore the same themes as the Stories of Finnish Art exhibition currently on display at the Ateneum. The exhibition will open at the Rovaniemi Art Museum on 6 January, at the Oulu Museum of Art on 13 May, and at the Kuopio Art Museum on 6 October.

Events and audience development

Events such as art workshops, lectures, guided tours, and clubs are an integral part of the operations at the Ateneum Art Museum. The exhibitions are complemented by conferences and theme days that explore the topics further. The audience development activities include, for example, close cooperation with schools. The Ateneum produces online materials for schools and other groups, explaining art and inspiring people to make their own interpretations. In 2017, the museum will also produce a new functional Ateneumin Taidesalkku (‘Ateneum art portfolio’), which includes large images of works in the museum collection that can be used for various group projects.

Opening hours
Tue, Fri 10–18 | Wed, Thu 10–20 | Sat, Sun 10–17 | Mon closed

Admission fees
Until 27 Oct 2016:
Normal admission fee €13 | Concessions €11 | Under 18-year-olds free of charge | S-Etukortti loyalty card holders €12
From 28 Oct : Normal admission fee €15 | Concessions €13 | Under 18-year-olds free of charge | S-Etukortti loyalty card holders €14