Ateneum in the sun
Photo: Ville Malja

We have received a significant legacy donation of over one million euros

The Finnish National Gallery has received a significant legacy donation, which will be used to support the Ateneum Art Museum’s exhibition and museum activities in accordance with the donor’s wishes. The donation, made by a private Finnish citizen, is worth over one million euros.

“This gift is unique in the Ateneum’s history,” says Museum Director Marja Sakari. “It is more common for works of art to be donated to the Ateneum Art Museum with the hope that they will be added to the museum’s collections. Donating money, especially such a large amount, is extraordinary.”

The legacy donation will be used to fund the development of a more accessible, international and engaging Ateneum over the next three years. One of the plans is to increase the number of free-admission days. Until now, the museum has had about three free-admission days per year, one for each new exhibition. Starting next year, the aim is to have up to six free-admission days annually.

The Ateneum Art Museum has been closed to the public since March 2022 due to a ventilation upgrade. The museum will reopen in early 2023 with the launch of a new collection exhibition. The exact opening date, as well as the title and themes of the collection exhibition, will be announced later.

“Part of the donation will be used to extend the impact of the collection exhibition,” says Sakari. “In addition to traditional works, the new exhibition will feature digital works never before seen at the Ateneum.”

The legacy donation will allow the Ateneum Art Museum to hire a number of new project staff. The goal is to strengthen the relationship between the museum and the public. The donations will also help finance the continuation and development of the Echo and My Ateneum learning projects for the next three years.

Next year, an international application for a Visiting Researcher position will also be announced. The researcher’s main task will be to work on international exhibition projects and publications.

“The uses of the donated funds have been chosen so that the impact of the planned development work will be felt for years and decades to come,” says Sakari. “Thanks to this remarkable donation, we are able to enhance the expertise at the Ateneum even further while also improving accessibility and the engagement with wider audiences, both now and in the future.”

Read more from the Finnish National Gallery web page