Monday, December 15, 2014

Finnish Museum Showcase: The Wäinö Aaltonen Museum

We’re back to continue our virtual tour through Finland. Up next is the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum in Turku, on the southwest coast of Finland. Dedicated to the incredibly prolific 20th century Finnish sculptor, this museum has been open and presenting exciting works to its visitors for close to 50 years!

via Flickr by Joni-Pekka Luomala
Born in the town of Karinainen in 1894, Wäinö Aaltonen became deaf as a child and became interested in art soon after. At the age of 16, he began studying at the School of Drawing in Turku. A trip to Italy in the early 1920’s exposed Aaltonen to cubist and futurist art – these artistic influences can be seen most clearly in his paintings. However, his work as a sculptor is what truly launched Aaltonen’s career as a prominent national figure and artist.

via WAM
The Wäinö Aaltonen Museum officially opened on September 17, 1967. Prior to its opening Aaltonen signed an agreement donating a significant collection of his work to the museum. While Irma and Matti Aaltonen created the building drawings, Wäinö was also actively involved in the design. The design of the exhibition rooms are “clean and well lit; natural light is generously provided through wide windows and numerous skylights.” This sounds like a truly fabulous setting dedicated to the viewing and appreciation of art!

It’s very clear that WAM is committed to presenting “new and experimental art projects,” as well as a number of cultural events, concerts, lectures and themed days for families. Beginning in the spring of 2015 they will be presenting a regular concert series! Their current exhibitions also sound pretty fabulous; the sound | image | experience takes a look at how image and sound work together and the experiences that they evoke, and the Atelieri O. Haapala/Time Travel exhibit presents a visual history of the past hundred years by two photographers. And of course, the vast collection of Aaltonen’s would be absolutely incredible to witness in person as well!

Photo: WAM / image archives
Photo: Aarne Pietinen, WAM / image archive
Detail of Wäinö Aaltonen's Self-Portrait, ca. 1926. Photo: Raakkel Närhi / WAM

Have you visited the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum? We’d really love to hear about your experience - tell us about it in the comments below!