The Friends of Ateneum is the oldest museum friends association in Finland, founded in 1919. Its original goal was to help the museum acquire older foreign art. Among its first donations was Ecce Homo from 1644 by Jusepe de Ribera, now in the Sinebrychoff Art Museum collections. The association was reactivated in 1985, and currently has nearly 2000 members.
Art donations are still on the agenda. In 1991, the Friends' help was essential in acquiring the important Self-Portrait (1884–85) by Helene Schjerfbeck, donated at the inauguration of the renovated Ateneum building. In November 1999, at the 80th anniversary gala of the association, the museum received another painting by Schjerfbeck, the portrait Einar Reuter III. The Friends' collection today includes a total of 26 works of art plus Helene Schjerfbeck's five sketchbooks and a hundred sketches.
Benefits of membership
The Friends' financial support for the museum is largely dependent on membership fees, so anyone can support the museum by joining the Friends. There are several advantages to being a Friend of Ateneum: free admission to the Ateneum Art Museum, discount at the museum shop and cafeteria, and the chance to attend special activities for members. Special events, along with other information, are listed in a newsletter four times a year (in Finnish or Swedish).
You can join the Friends of Ateneum at the museum's information desk.
Chairman of the Friends of Ateneum Board is Johanna Piisi. Other board members are Kei Heikkilä, Aulis Kohvakka, Juhani Lemmetti, Petra Majander, Teemu Muurimäki, Riitta-Leena Paunio and Anne Valsta.
Friends of Ateneum, Kaivokatu 2, FI-00100 Helsinki, Finland
Executive Director Anna Laamanen, tel. +358 (0)40 171 9911, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org