Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen

Slow art tour

Pause, breathe and ponder in the museum. Art always has time for you.

Three floors full of art 

The Ateneum building was completed in 1887 as a house of the arts. Formerly, it was a place where people could both study art and explore art collections and exhibitions. Today, the Ateneum is one of the Finnish National Gallery’s three art museums. Here, you can see the Stories of Finnish Art collection and various temporary exhibitions. 

3rd floor: inspiration! 

Walk up the museum’s wide staircase or take the lift to the third floor. On the way, you can admire the decorative architecture and Stone Age fossils embedded in the limestone steps. The third-floor exhibition extends over the entire floor. 

Take your time and enjoy the exhibition. When you see a work of art that inspires you, stay with it a little longer. What made you stop? What in it caught your interest? What made you smile, feel nervous or breathe more intensely? If you are visiting the exhibition with someone, share your thoughts. Did you choose the same work of art? 

Stories of Finnish Art - Ateneum's collection display. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen

2nd floor: My new classic? 

Go to the museum’s main gallery, the largest exhibition gallery, located in the middle of the museum (Gallery 13). Here, you will find many beloved Golden Age works of art from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. 

Take a glance at the artwork in the gallery. Do you see anything familiar? How about anything totally new?  

Maybe you will take a closer look at a work that is new to you. Give the work of art time, and take a little longer to look at it. Pay attention to its colours, brushwork and small details, one at a time. What does the work of art tell you? 

The second-floor exhibitions extend over the entire floor. 

Stories of Finnish Art - Ateneum's collection display. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen

1st floor: Towards modernism 

Art in the three exhibition galleries on the first floor tell stories from the 1950s to the 1970s, when many of our museum visitors were young. 

Do you find a work of art that 
• amazes? 
• amuses? 
• is musical? 
• makes you feel pure contentment? 
• reminds you of a familiar sight or place?