Thematic Tours

Dear teacher,

Welcome to the new collection exhibition in Ateneum Art Museum! We have six thematic tours of the exhibition that are based on the educational goals of the museum and those of the basic education curriculum in Finnish schools. The tours were created in cooperation with educationalists and museum guides.

The content of the tours are presented on this website. Each presentation of a theme includes a portfolio of images that allows you to study some of the works under the theme prior to or after the museum visit.

We also suggest that you study the materials in the preparty and afterparty package. With its hints, questions and assignments you can easily prepare for the guided tour of the exhibition in advance and continue discussing the visit afterwards in class. The materials in the package can also be used in connection with broader subject areas and multi-subject practices in school.

The tours take a deeper look at selected works in the exhibition. The guides will encourage students to make careful observations and discuss what they have seen and thought. The aim is to make the visit inspiring, rewarding and fun! The themes of the guided tours include internationality, multiculturality and the impact of the ideals and ideologies of different historical periods on the development of art. All themes are presented in way that is appropriate for the age of the students.

An art museum is an interactive learning environment in which the visitor faces a particular spatial experience as well as works of art in a social context. A school group learns and experiences things together.

You can also visit the museum with your group unprepared, but the tours are more rewarding if you study the themes and works at school beforehand, thereby setting yourselves in the right mood. It does pay off – it is a great feeling to come across a picture that you already know from class.

Welcome to Ateneum!

Ateneum Public Programmes Team

Read more:

Learning goals of guided tours in Ateneum and the connection of the tours to the basic education curriculum

Preparty and afterparty materials

Hugo Simberg: Haavoittunut enkeli, 1903. Kansallisgalleria / Ateneumin taidemuseo, kok. Ahlström. Kuva: Kansallisgalleria / Hannu Aaltonen

The Story of Finnish Art

This is the ‘basic’ tour of the exhibition. It focuses on the concept of the art museum and the history of Finnish art and artists as seen through the Ateneum art collections. Historical events are discussed as well as changes in visual culture over a period of more than a hundred years.

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Robert Wilhelm Ekman: Pentti Lyytinen lukee runojaan savolaisessa pirtissä, 1848. Kansallisgalleria / Ateneumin taidemuseo. Kuva: Kansallisgalleria / Yehia Eweis

That’s How It Used to Be – Or Was It?

Using works from the Ateneum collections, the tour examines what life was ‘back then’, exploring conceptions of time as well as styles of art and values in different periods. A special focus is on the question: Is the picture true?

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Helene Schjerfbeck: Omakuva, 1912. Kansallisgalleria / Ateneumin taidemuseo, kok. Kaunisto. Kuva: Kansallisgalleria / Hannu Aaltonen

Pictures of People (portrait, self-portrait)

How has the depiction of people changed over time? What has been the purpose and importance of portraits and self-portraits in different historical periods? The tour takes a close look at different types of portraits and self-portraits, examining the development of styles and discussing the portrayal of nudity.

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Robert Wilhelm Ekman: Ilmatar, 1860. Kansallisgalleria / Ateneumin taidemuseo. Kuva: Kansallisgalleria / Hannu Aaltonen

Stories and Myths: Kalevala, Folk Traditions and History Painting

The tour focuses on the cultural and linguistic roots of the Finnish people, with an emphasis on multiculturality: What does it mean for something to be Finnish? How has Finnish identity been constructed? How does interpretations of a real or mythical Finnishness come across in artworks from different historical periods?

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Ferdinand von Wright: The Fighting Capercaillies, 1886. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Yehia Eweis

Artists and Their Environment: Nature and the City

Over the years, artists have depicted both nature and the built environment in their work. This tour focuses on landscape painting, the impact of international ideals on conceptions of the landscape, and also artists’ interpretations of the urban environment.

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Albert Edelfelt: Leikkiviä poikia rannalla, 1884. Kansallisgalleria / Ateneumin taidemuseo, kok. Ahlström. Kuva: Kansallisgalleria / Hannu Aaltonen

The Life of Children

The theme of this tour is depictions of childhood in Finnish art. What has the life of children been like in different families and social classes, in different times? What do pictures from different historical periods tell us about the position of children in the family and in society? What do they tell us about children’s play and work?

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Opening hours

Tue, Fri 10am–6pm
Wed, Thurs 10am–8pm
Sat, Sun 10am–5pm
Mondays closed

Ticket sale ends 30 minutes before museum closing time.


Admission fees

15 € Normal admission
13 € Discount admission
0 € Under 18 year-olds
14 € S Privilege Card holders
24/20 € Combined ticket to Ateneum and Kiasma

Ticket sale ends 30 minutes before museum closing time.

Discounts and payment methods
Contact information

Kaivokatu 2, 00100 Helsinki +358 (0)294 500 401


Please take a look at our accessibility services here.

Details on accessibility
Guided tours

(Mon-Fri 9-15) +358 (0)294 500 500

Museum Shop

Welcome to Finnish National Gallery webshop! You can buy products from Ateneum Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma or Sinebrychoff Art Museum collections.
Ateneum museum shop's tel.: +358 (0)294 500 434.

Visit the online Museum Shop

Ateneum Bistro offers classic Finnish bistro cuisine with a modern twist. Lunch from Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 to 14:00. Café-type food is also served.

Read more about Ateneum Bistro