Light Changes Everything – The Tuomo Seppo Collection

Light Changes Everything – the Tuomo Seppo Collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen

The Kajaani-based French and English teacher Tuomo Seppo (born 1937) has dedicated his entire life to collecting Finnish art. Seppo has decided to donate his collection of almost 2,000 works to the Ateneum Art Museum, which is part of the Finnish National Gallery. The exhibition covers the period from the early 20th century to the 2010s.

Seppo’s collection of Finnish art includes paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and sketches. The extensive exhibition will feature 436 works by 46 artists, ranging from imposing paintings to subtle prints. Also featured will be a short film by Hannu Pakarinen, which opens a window into the collector’s world and his home.

Works by Ina Colliander, Reino Hietanen, Pentti Kaskipuro, Tapani Raittila, Nina Terno and Ellen Thesleff form the backbone of the Tuomo Seppo collection. Other artists in the collection include Ahtela, Niilo Hyttinen, Väinö Kamppuri, Anitra Lucander, Elga Sesemann, Kain Tapper, Rafael Wardi, Carl Wargh, Veikko Vionoja, and many other names who are important to Seppo.

The exhibition will delve into the mindset of a passionate art collector. The common thread running through the exhibition is the collector’s own voice: Tuomo Seppo discusses his lifelong collecting of art and presents some of his favourite artists. The exhibition also serves to celebrate the importance of art collectors as preservers of art history.

The works in the collection constitute encounters with the artists: Seppo has wanted to get acquainted with the artists who resonate with him and to follow their careers over the long term. Seppo is interested in the small, random details in the works, instead of seeing them as faultless or perfect.

The exhibition will be curated by the chief curator Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff. The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of a book, featuring articles by the museum director Susanna Pettersson and the chief curator Timo Huusko.

Discussion on collecting and art, Tue 28 Feb, from 16:00–18:00

On the opening day of the exhibition, there will be a discussion with Tuomo Seppo and the museum director Susanna Pettersson on the topic of collecting and art. The event will be held at the Ateneum Hall, and admission is included in the museum entrance fee, or with a Museum Card.

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