Ateneum theme: Lectures on A Question of Time

Do you want to dig deeper into the themes and background of A Question of Time with the creators of the exhibition? In this spring’s three lectures, we discuss how we have approached the Finnish National Gallery collection from the perspective of today’s big questions. What do the works that are currently on display tell us about our past and present? And can we use art to look to the future?

  • 19.4.2023 at 18–19:30
  • 22.4.2023 at 13–14:30
  • 26.4.2023 at 18–19:30
in Finnish
Ateneum Hall
Tickets: with a museum ticket
A picture of Pigs and Magpies
Wright, Ferdinand von: Pigs and Magpies (1875), National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen

The spring’s three lectures

Read more about each lecture by clicking the title.

Wed 19 April, 18:00–19:30 Images of a People – how is Finnishness portrayed?

The work depicts the burning of the Brushwood. In the middle of the picture a young girl is looking towards.

The exhibition A Question of Time does not tell a single uniform story, but it offers for reflection four different themes, through which to explore art created at different times. In her lecture, the museum director Marja Sakari discusses how the new collection exhibition is linked to our time and the current, ongoing discussions. 

Many of the most famous works at the Ateneum Art Museum are associated with the spread of the 19th-century nationalistic view of Finland. In the second lecture of the evening, the chief curator Timo Huusko sheds light on the ideas and aims on which the image of Finnishness has been built in art. Who has been included and who excluded in depictions of folklife? 

Sat 22 April, 13:00–14:30 The Age of Nature – what is people’s role in nature?

A picture of Pigs and Magpies

In their joint lecture, the curator Mariia Niskavaara and the curator of exhibitions Anne-Maria Pennonen talk about the depictions of nature found in the Finnish National Gallery’s collection, and how the collection captures the history of our relationship with nature. The works selected for the exhibition show what it means to be a part of nature. The lecture explores the changes in nature caused by humans, but also the ways in which we are tied to other species of animals and plants. 

Wed 26 Apr 18:00–19:30 Modern Life – How does it feel to live in our modern time? Art and Power – who holds the power to decide what images we see?

A modern picture of a man with glasses in a suit.

In her lecture, the senior researcher Anu Utriainen provides an introduction to the themes of modernism and the modern. How have artists experienced the times they have lived in, and how does this experience show in art? The lecture also reveals why the Ateneum is the largest museum of modern art in Finland. 

To conclude the lecture series, the curator of collections Hanne Selkokari dives into the history of our national art collection. What kind of a group of collectors, museum directors, and lovers and preservers of art has, over the decades, influenced what types of works were acquired for the collection? Human relations and chance have both played a part in what Ateneum visitors get to see today.