Stories of Finnish Art

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

The collections exhibition presents classics with a twist

The Ateneum Art Museum has the country’s oldest and largest art collection. The collections exhibition presents well-loved classics alongside seldom-exhibited works of art. It draws new parallels and highlights works that have not been on show for a long time.

NB! Gallery 12 (New Expression) closed from 2 April to 16 May 2019 – read more

Stories of Finnish Art illustrates the development of art in Finland from 1809 until the 1970s. At the exhibition, the story of Finnish art is juxtaposed with international developments in art and contemporary social events. On display, side by side, are Finnish and international masterpieces from our collections, such as Le Corbusier’s Two Women (1939), Hugo Simberg’s The Wounded Angel (1903), Edvard Munch’s Bathing Men (1907–08), and Vincent van Gogh’s Street in Auvers-sur-Oise (1890).

The works on display in the halls of modern art highlight the post-Second World War reconstruction period and the emergent media society. The exhibition will feature paintings, sculptures and prints by Finnish and foreign artists such as Anitra Lucander, Unto Pusa, Ulla Rantanen, Anita Snellman and Sam Vanni. Prints by foreign artists will be exhibited on a regularly changing basis. The exhibition will also include Eino Ruutsalo’s experimental films and advertisements.

The letters, sketchbooks, postcards and photographs on display in the archive hall vividly illustrate the daily lives of the artists. The dense, salon exhibition style recalls the history of the building, going back more than a century.

Read more from the press release

Read more about the themes of the exhibition

Season’s featured artist (Albert Edelfelt’s Parisienne Reading from 29 January 2019 onwards)


We are improving the accessibility of the main gallery! A lift will be installed next to the staircase leading from the main gallery to the adjacent galleries. The new lift will make the main gallery of the Stories of Finnish Art accessible from the other levels of the exhibition. The lift will be installed in gallery 12 (New Expression), which will be closed from 2 April to 16 May. We apologise for the occasional noise caused by the renovation.

Guided tours to the exhibition

Read more about free guided tours

Book a private guided tour


See events related to the exhibition at the events calendar

Short films

Ateneum has produced 13 short films of the most beloved artworks of its collection. Watch the films

Ateneum Art Gate

There is also a virtual version of the main gallery available, which you can check out using your mobile device in the Ateneum courtyard next to the museum shop. Read more

Books related to the exhibition

The exhibition publication, Stories of Finnish Art, contains 16 articles by art experts as well as five short stories based on the collection. They are written by Riikka Ala-Harja, Juha Itkonen, Heidi Köngäs, Sirpa Kähkönen and Matti Rönkä. The book at the webshop

Artists of the Ateneum series
Helene Schjerfbeck The book at the webshop
Hugo Simberg The book at the webshop
Akseli Gallen-Kallela The book at the webshop

For schools

Read more about the themed guided tours


Exhibition is supported by Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd (DNP).

NOTE! Its status as a national gallery requires the Ateneum Art Museum to lend its works to other museums in Finland and abroad, and this is one of the reasons why the selection of works on display in Ateneum varies to some extent.

Press releases

The Ateneum’s winter season 2019–2020 to focus on Helene Schjerfbeck’s travels and Finnish artists in Ruovesi

The Ateneum’s winter exhibition programme 2019–2020 is changing. The exhibitions to be staged on the third floor of Ateneum from 22 November 2019 to 26 January 2020 are Through My Travels I Found Myself – Helene Schjerfbeck and Finnish Artists in Ruovesi. The common…

Read more
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