Exploring Art Museums in Finland: Top 10 Picks for 2024

A Journey Through Finland’s Art Scene: 10 Museums Not to Miss in 2024

Get ready for a vibrant arts scene in Finland in 2024. This article introduces notable museums across the country, highlighting their upcoming exhibitions in Helsinki and beyond.

Eero Järnefelt, Ateneum - Photo: Finnish National Gallery, Hannu Pakarinen
Turku Art Museum - Photo: Patrick Selin

Turku Art Museum

Located right in the heart of Turku, in scenic Puolalanpuisto park, the Turku Art Museum has played a significant role in Finnish art life since 1904. The granite building of Turku Art Museum, designed by professor Gustaf Nyström, is a fine example of the national romantic style and has been chosen as the most beautiful building in Turku and a popular attraction on its own.

Turku Art Museum’s versatile exhibition program introduces visitors to the fascinating world of art, from iconic pieces to the very latest contemporary artworks. Alongside its rich exhibition programme, the museum also stages events presented in a beautiful setting that invites interaction and relaxation. You can stop by the atmospheric Café Victor for a coffee, and in the summer one of the city’s most stunning terraces offers a view over the city.

The museum’s collection focuses on Finnish and Nordic visual art. The collection is especially known for the golden age of Finnish art, Finnish surrealism and pop art, as well as self-portraits. Today, the museum’s collection includes almost 7,600 works, and part of the collection is constantly on display in the museum’s changing collection exhibitions.

Emma Helle – Parallel Paradise, 7.6.– 15.9.2024
Emma Helle’s captivating sculptures burst with life. The artist brings a breath of fresh air to traditional sculpture and its interpretations of gender with playful references to art historical styles and myths, to sacred and secular imagery.

Eeva Honkanen – Trapped in Time, 7.6.– 15.9.2024
Eeva Honkanen is an artist specialised in large-scale ink drawings. She combines both personal and historical imagery with surreal parallels.

Nastja Säde Rönkkö – Those Who Kept the Light, 7.6.– 15.9.2024
Those Who Kept the Light (2022) consists of ten poetic videos, which revolve around the sea and its myths and stories. The central idea in the videos is a love beyond borders, but the topic also relates to the climate crisis and the destruction of the fragile ocean ecosystem

Turku Art Museum. Photo: Ville Kiiski.
Emma Helle
Eeva Honkanen
Nastja Säde Rönkkö
Cafe Victor

WeeGee Exhibition Centre

The WeeGee exhibition centre in Tapiola, Espoo, is a versatile hub for museums, exhibitions, and events. WeeGee house is home to EMMA (the Espoo Museum of Modern Art), KAMU (Espoo City Museum), and the Mauri Kunnas Exhibition, as well as Cafe Zoceria WeeGee, and the museum store EMMA Shop. WeeGee operates in the former Weilin&Göös printing house designed by Professor Aarno Ruusuvuori (1925–1992). In WeeGee’s yard the Futuro house, a plastic house designed by architect Matti Suuronen, is open to public from mid-May to mid-September.

KAMU – Espoo City Museum is a museum of cultural history. The permanent exhibition, ‘A Thousand Stories from Espoo,’ illustrates the history of the City of Espoo and its residents. Additionally, the ‘Manor on the King’s Road’ exhibition delves into the history of Espoo Manor, established in 1556 by the command of King Gustav Vasa and is located along the historic King’s Road. KAMU offers memorable museum experiences for visitors of all ages through events, guided tours, and workshops.

EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art is one of the most important art museums in Finland. The largest in Finland in terms of surface area, EMMA’s spacious premises and minimalist modern architecture provides an inspirational backdrop for presenting modern and contemporary art and design. In addition to changing exhibitions, part of the collections of Collection Kakkonen, Saastamoinen Foundation, and the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation are on permanent display at EMMA.

Exhibitions at EMMA 2024:

Loretta Fahrenholz: Mashes of the Afternoon – 31.01. – 28.07.2024
The German artist Loretta Fahrenholz (b. 1981) pays homage to the legacy of experimental feminist cinema. With Mashes of the Afternoon (2018), Fahrenholz draws analogies between historical and contemporary independent and non-hierarchical modes of production by utilizing contemporary video remixing and collaging techniques.

Tapio Wirkkala – Form – 05.10.2022 – 06.10.2024
Form is an exhibition showcasing Tapio Wirkkala’s sculptures and the sculptural character of his designs. The same forms recur frequently in the sculptures and objects featured in the exhibition.

Rashaad Newsome: Untitled (New Way) –  24.11.2023 – 23.11.2025
The silent Untitled (New Way) (2009) is a piece by the American artist Rashaad Newsome (b. 1979) which renders the moving body sculptural, or like a drawing in space, whilst relishing the cultural specificity and artistry of voguing.

Experiments in Concretism, 06.03.2024 – 02.03.2025
EMMA’s collection exhibition offers a fresh take on the long tradition and contemporary forms of concrete art. Featuring work by more than fifty artists, the show highlights the complexity, material diversity and playful approach of the movement.

Monika Sosnowska: An Order Apart, 06.03.2024 – 15.12.2024
Sculptor Monika Sosnowska (b. 1972) is known for her architectonic sculptures that she makes out of building materials. What especially interests her is the impact that architecture and space have on people, and the difficulty of changing existing structures

Loretta Fahrenholz, Mashes of the Afternoon, 2018. Video still. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection.
Rashaad Newsome, Untitled (New Way), 2009. Video still. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection.
Inka Bell, Shift 11, 2023, EMMA Collection © Paula Virta / EMMA (left) & Antti Ukkonen
Monika Sosnowska, Handrail (detail), 2016/2024. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth © Paula Virta / EMMA
KAMU
Futuro, Näyttelykeskus WeeGee. Photo: Ari Karttunen
Mauri Kunnas, Näyttelykeskus WeeGee, Photo: Kerttu Penttilä

Moomin Museum

The world’s only Moomin Museum in Tampere is an experiential art museum that attracts Moomin aficionados and art lovers of all ages. In the Moomin museum, you will get to know the beloved stories of the Moomins with Tove Jansson’s original illustrations, you can step into the magician’s hat and experience the magic of Moomin Valley, explore detailed Moomin drawings and see a sparkling comet flying through space. In the museum’s Studio, museum visitors can roll up their sleeves and make things. You can easily spend an hour or two in the museum, and there is plenty to see for several visits.

The foundation of the Moomin Museum is Tove Jansson’s (1914–2001) unique collection of Moomin art, which she donated to the Tampere Art Museum in 1986. Moomin illustrations have been presented in Tampere for over 30 years. In the basic exhibition of the Moomin museum, the always fascinating Moomin stories created by Tove Jansson unfold through drawings, paintings, three-dimensional dioramas, and various guides, offering a spark for the imagination and a response to the longing for stories. Visitors discover where it all started, how Moomins came into existence from Tove’s pen, and what happened after that. The three-dimensional tableaux created by Tove’s spouse, graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä (1917–2009), immortalise mysterious scenes from Moomin stories. In the heart of the museum lies the museum’s pride and joy, the five-story and two-metre high, blue-painted Moomin House with its numerous secrets.

Jansson’s Moomin books have been translated into more than 50 languages – and their life wisdom, warmth, kindness and sense of adventure have timeless appeal to Moomin fans around the world. You can also experience the same atmosphere in the Moomin Museum.

Artist’s Life – Tove Jansson – 20.4.2024–19.5.2025
Tove Jansson is one of the internationally most renowned Finnish artists. Jansson is best known for her Moomin characters. The exhibition at the Moomin Museum’s Observatory examines her other work and life. Tove Jansson colourful life was full of twists, work, relationships, strong emotions, love, and drama.

Muumimuseo - Muumin Museum
Toven kirjahyllystä, from Tove’s bookshelf
Photo: Reino Loppinen

Sara Hildén Art Museum

The Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere specialises in international modernism and contemporary art. The focus of its work is on research-based exhibition curating, publishing, and public programming for diverse visitor groups. The museum arranges on average three exhibitions a year.

Sara Hildén (1905–1993) was a fashion-trade businesswoman, art collector and culture lover, and also founder of this modern art museum. The Sara Hildén Foundation was founded in 1962 and it comprises over 5,000 works of modern and contemporary art. Highlights include world-famous names such as Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti, Paul Klee, and Joan Miró. Recent additions include Kiki Smith and Marcel Dzama. The Finnish collection contains an extensive selection of modern and contemporary works by Finland’s leading artists.

The museum is located in the Särkänniemi district of Tampere, overlooking Lake Näsijärvi. It is administered by the City of Tampere. The museum opened in 1979, as did the adjoining open-air art park, which features sculptures by 17 Finnish artists from the 1970s and 1980s, one work by the Norwegian artist Bråd Breivik, and an ensemble from the 2000s by the OLO Collective.

Complement your visit with a cup of coffee or tea and a home-made sweet or savoury pastry at the museum’s Café Sara. You can admire the unique landscape surrounding Lake Näsijärvi through the windows or from the outdoor terrace.

Jean-Michel Othoniel – 8.6.2024 – 15.9.2024
Sara Hildén Art Museum will be presenting the latest work by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel, including glass artworks, metal artworks and paintings.

Jean-Michel Othoniel
Sculpture park

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

Located in the heart of Helsinki, Kiasma is Finland’s most important museum of contemporary art, and part of the National Gallery of Finland. Kiasma has galleries on five floors, allowing it to exhibit numerous temporary exhibitions of the most fascinating contemporary art of the moment, by international and Finnish artists, alongside its own changing collection exhibitions. In addition to exhibitions, Kiasma organises live live performances and engaging events throughout the year. The Kiasma Library stands as a beacon for contemporary art enthusiasts, housing a rich collection of literature dedicated to the genre. Meanwhile, the Kiasma Theatre provides a stage for riveting live performances by contemporary artists, often weaving narratives that resonate with ongoing exhibition themes.

The architectural marvel of the Kiasma building, completed in 1998, has become a notable modern landmark in the city centre. Alongside notable structures like Musiikkitalo, Oodi library, and Alvar Aalto’s Finlandia Hall, Kiasma highlights Finland’s ongoing dedication to the arts.

Kiasma primarily collects contemporary art works from Finland and neighbouring regions.The works acquired by Kiasma are part of the collections of the National Gallery and thus an important part of Finnish cultural heritage. The National Gallery’s collections currently include 8,800 contemporary art pieces from nearly 1,000 artists. In recognition of the realm of online art, Kiasma has carved a digital niche with its Online Art site, inviting audiences to immerse themselves in web-based artworks tailored for the digital era.

Located on the ground floor, the Kiasma shop stocks a wide range of products related to current exhibitions, along with contemporary art books, examples of Finnish design, distinctive jewellery and fun surprises for kids. Across the hall, Kiasma café is a fully licensed restaurant, serving delicious lunch and café specialities that are made on the premises. During summer months, the spacious terrace, set against the backdrop of the equestrian statue of Marshal Mannerheim, provides a tranquil oasis. Soon, it will be adorned with Nina Beier’s captivating fountain installation, “Women & Children” (2022), featuring a collection of found bronze sculptures, promising a mesmerising sensory experience for visitors during summer months.

Feels Like Home – Kiasma’s Collection Exhibition – 12.1.2024–12.1.2025
The exhibition showcasing works from the Finnish National Gallery collection, leads the audience into the themes of home and belonging.

Simon Fujiwara – 1.3.–13.10.2024
The exhibition presents a survey of Simon Fujiwara’s key works spanning a decade of his career. Forming a series of ‘experiences’ visitors will be taken through a set of immersive installations conceived especially for Kiasma.

Nina Beier – 22.3.–8.9.2024
Nina Beier’s (b. 1975, Denmark) sculptures often take ready-made objects as their starting point: pastel-coloured sinks, remote-controlled toy cars, and porcelain vases chart routes from original to copy, traveling through time and space from one culture or historical era to another.

Pauline Curnier Jardin – 11.10.2024–23.2.2025
The exhibition brings to Kiasma Pauline Curnier Jardin’s works dealing with prevailing norms and stereotypes. Her works are often wildly humorous and visually abundant in both form and style.

Photo: Susanna Kesänen, Kansallisgalleria
Nina Beier, China, 2015. Photo: Vegard Kleven
Simon Fujiwara, Who Goes Around and Around? (Social Media Madness), 2023. Photo: Jörg von Bruchhausen
Hertta Kiiski, Alkuliemi-alttari, 2021, Photo: Kansallisgalleria - Iisa Smeds
NinaBeier WomenChildren 2022
Pauline Curnier Jardin, Fat to Ashes, 2021. Kuva: Mathias Völzke Pauline Curnier Jardin, Qu’un sang impur, 2019. Photo: Luca Girardini

Serlachius

The Serlachius museums in Mänttä form a unique tourist centre where you can enjoy art, history, architecture, as well as taste and sauna experiences in the middle of breathtaking lake nature. Serlachius comprises two locations 3 km apart, one location is in the park lands by the shore of a lake with a famed Art Sauna, and the other in the centre of Art Town Mänttä. The cultural attractions beautifully combine award-winning contemporary architecture with historic buildings.

Serlachius offers a vibrant meeting place for people who value high-quality art and captivating narratives. The numerous exhibitions feature a fascinating blend of interesting names in contemporary art, masters of art from Finland’s ‘Golden Age’, and old European art. Visitors can also explore the sculpture park and an island dotted with contemporary art in the summer. Museum building in the centre of Mänttä is closed for renovations until June 15th. The museum will reopen with a renewed permanent exhibition, “Patrons – The story of the Serlachius art collection”. The new exhibition tells the intriguing story behind Serlachius’ art collection: how the forest industry gave birth to a significant cultural destination.

There are guided tours available for groups on request, including a fun drama tour in the style of the ‘50s starting 15th of June. The awarded Art Sauna is a unique venue with public sauna days every Tuesday throughout the year, set in the middle of art, design, and stunning architecture. For a delightful culinary experience, Restaurant Gösta will more than suffice with its pure flavours – it’s considered to be one of the best museum restaurants in all Europe.

Other conveniences include two museum shops where you can pick up a unique gift or souvenir. The museums also allow visitors to borrow bicycles, Nordic walking poles, and, during the summer season, rowing boats too!

Getting to Serlachius is easy, with a dedicated Serlachius Art & Sauna Express bus operating between Tampere and the museums in Mänttä. The Serlachius Art Express leaves for the museums from Tampere bus station at 10:50, and from Tampere railway station at 11:05, arriving back in Tampere around 7pm, leaving visitors with around 8 hours to experience a wonderful day trip into the heart of art. The bus timetable is synchronised with the train timetable from Helsinki to Tampere, making it possible to enjoy the day trip from the capital and back. The Serlachius Art & Sauna Express operates daily in the summer season and once a week on Tuesdays in the winter season. Check the timetables at serlachius.fi.

Fade Cut, Devan Shimoyama’s barber shop installation – 23 March — 18 August 2024
US artist Devan Shimoyama (b. 1989) explores themes of sexuality, race and gender in his carnivalesque works. He reflects on queer identity, appending to it references from mythology and art history.

ROR–ABC, Revolutions on Request – 23.3.2024—23.3.2025
Did someone order a revolution? ROR is Back! But what is ROR? How does ROR look, feel, sound? Is it art or circuses?

Masks and Multiple Identities – 11 May — 15 September 2024
Masks and Multiple Identities explores the meanings of mask wearing as part of human history. Since prehistoric times, humans have felt the need to hide their identity temporarily, or to change it completely.

Patrons – The story behind the Serlachius Art Collection, Serlachius Headquarters 15.6.2024 –Behind the Serlachius art collection is a fascinating story that intertwines art, history, architecture, forest and Finnishness.

Devan Shimoyama, Stay Still, 2023, Photo: Kavi Gupta Gallery.
Patrons
Masks - Man Ray - Noire et blanche
Taidesauna / Art Sauna. Kuva / Photo: Archmospheres Photo, Marc Goodwin

Tampere Art Museum

Tampere Art Museum organises changing exhibitions on the themes of art history, and presents old masters as well as the newest artists of contemporary art, featuring both local and international artists. The museum’s annual highlight is its announcement of the Young Artist of the Year and the subsequent award exhibition. Tampere Art Museum manages Finland’s second largest art collection, which comprises more than 15,000 works. Many of the works can be seen in the city’s public outdoor and indoor spaces.

Tampere Art Museum is 90 years old, having opened in 1931 as Finland’s third art museum. The museum came under the ownership of the city of Tampere in 1985. It has operated throughout its existence in the granary building designed by C.L. Engel, completed in 1838, on the edge of Pyynikintori. The main building of Tampere Art Museum is the third oldest building in the city, significant in terms of cultural history and the cityscape.

In the museum shop, you can find an excellent selection of gifts and souvenirs, as well as a wide range of publications related to our exhibitions, art postcards, decorative products and many other interesting things.

Hyper – 1.6.2024 – 29.9.2024
The international exhibition Hyper takes the viewer directly to the skin, close to humanity. In hyperrealistic works, narrative and surprising elements are combined with the photorealistic representation of reality. The subjects include everyday situations, ordinary people, and the diversity of human existence.

The Young Artist of the Year 2024 – 26.10.2024 – 5.1.2025
The visual artist Suvi Sysi (b. 1990 in Nilsiä) has been chosen as the Young Artist of the Year 2024.

Delight to the Eye – 26.10.2024 – 5.1.2025
The exhibition showcases works by previous Young Artists of the Year from the collections of the Tampere Art Museum. Included are paintings, sculptures, graphics, drawings, spatial art, and media art.

Young Artist of the Year 2024 is Suvi Sysi
HYPER - Jacques Verduyn - VG Bild-Kunst

Ateneum

The Ateneum is an internationally known and respected art museum whose exhibitions attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Ateneum is a beloved meeting place for art, people and experiences.

The highly popular exhibitions of the Ateneum showcase both international and Finnish artists. Paired with the museum’s topical research activities, the exhibitions provide new information and perspectives to the visitors. Museum´s collection exhibition The Question of Time participates in the current debate of the 21st century. Exhibition ponders how the country’s oldest and largest art collection can now and in the future feel both personal and common – to all of us.

Ateneum’s 2024 exhibitions seek the essence and explore the big questions of life and death. A retrospective exhibition of works by a master depictor of nature and people, Eero Järnefelt, who was always looking for emotion and truth, will be staged on our third floor from 5 April to 25 August 2024. On 4 October, the third-floor exhibition space will see the opening of an exciting exhibition contrasting mediaeval and modern art: Gothic Modern.

In addition to the collection exhibition and the two temporary exhibitions, the Ateneum’s Fokus Gallery will host two exhibitions in 2024: Impivaara, is a new short film by the IC-98 artist group and Lars-Gunnar Nordström, a pioneer and trailblazer in Finnish concrete art.

Besides exhibitions, the Ateneum organises a wide range of events, talks, workshops and discussions on current topics. Thanks to its rich educational programme, the museum attracts thousands of children and young people every year.

At Café Höijer, on the third floor of the Ateneum, visitors can crown their museum visit in a beautiful setting. The café is located in the middle of the exhibition spaces, so it is only open to customers who have purchased a museum ticket. Café Höijer offers classic café products served to table. In addition to small savoury and sweet items, the café offers a diverse selection of wines and coffees.

Ateneum is a part of the Finnish National Gallery which is the national museum of fine arts. It operates three of Finland’s best-known museums: the Ateneum Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum. It also manages the national art collection and its archives, develops Finnish cultural heritage and promotes art to the wider public.

Collection: A Question of Time – Permanent exhibition
Our collection exhibition A Question of Time reflects on the major questions of our time through art. The exhibition also offers fresh perspectives into Finland’s oldest and most extensive art collection and how it was built.

Eero Järnefelt – 5.4.–25.8.2024
This exhibition presents the extensive oeuvre of Eero Järnefelt (1863–1937), who grew up in a cultured, cosmopolitan family, and it explores the artist’s significance for Finnish art and Finnishness.

Gothic Modern – 4.10.2024–26.1.2025
This international exhibition presents modern art from the 19th and 20th centuries that is inspired by European mediaeval and Northern Renaissance art. The themes of the diverse exhibition include death and rituals, but also sexuality and enlightenment.

Photo: Kansallisgalleria
Eero Järnefelt: Under the Yoke / Burning the Brushwood (1893), National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: National Gallery / Yehia Eweis.
Edvard Munch: By the Death-Bed (1896). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Sihtola collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Aleks Talve.
Lars-Gunnar Nordström: Dimensional Activity (1954). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Petri Virtanen.

The Mikkeli Art Museum

The Mikkeli Art Museum presents art from prominent Finnish visual artists. Come and experience engaging exhibitions and visual art from Finland.

In addition to hosting several changing art exhibitions annually, Mikkeli Art Museum provides a wide range of expert services in the art field. The art museum researches, documents and presents fine art. Focus areas in the art museum are displaying exhibitions, fine art from South Savo as well as managing and increasing the art collections held by the art museum, and presenting and collecting Finnish illustration art. The Mikkeli Art Museum attends to the regional art museum responsibilities of South Savo. The art museum also functions as an interactive and experiential learning environment in various workshops and art education projects.

In the museum shop you can shop for publications, gift items, postcards, posters and other stationery. The Museum Shop is open during the museum’s opening hours, and admission is free.

The entrance to the art museum, the ticket office, and the museum shop are located on the 2nd floor of Akseli Shopping Centre, accessible by elevator and escalators and from the rooftop parking lot.

Heikki Willamo – 8.6.–22.9.2024
Photographer, nature photographer and writer, Heikki Willamo’s works feature nature, especially the forest and its animals. In Willamo’s photographs, nature unfolds as diverse and ancient, even mythical.

Tiitiäisen aika (Tumpkin’s time) – poems by Kirsi Kunnas – 12.10.2024–2.3.2025
The year 2024 is the 100th anniversary of the beloved academician, children’s author and Finnish poet Kirsi Kunnas (1924–2021). The exhibition features an experiential adventure designed around Kunnas’ nursery-rhymes by artist Alexander Reichstein and transports the visitor to magical worlds and captivating characters of the poems, Merry Tumpkin and his endearing friends.

Heikki Willamo, Metsäkauris, 2020, digitaalinen mustesuihkuvedos. Kuva Heikki Willamo©
Heikki Willamo
Heikki Willamo: Näätä
Ripustuskuva Tiitiäisen aika -näyttelystä Päivälehden museossa 2022. Kuva Ida Pimenoff©

Aboa Vetus Ars Nova, The Museum of Archaeology and Contemporary Art

Museum of Archaeology and Contemporary Art Aboa Vetus Ars Nova is situated in the centre of Turku, Finland. The only archeological museum in Finland tells a story of old Turku, Aboa Vetus is in a town quarter discovered underground. The museum’s art exhibitions present current contemporary art and the museum’s art collection.

The collection of the Aboa Vetus Ars Nova museum includes two entities: the art collection of the Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Foundation and the collection of archaeological finds recovered from the excavations of the museum’s grounds at different times. The art collection is increased by purchases and accepting donations and the collection of Aboa Vetus is increased by archaeological excavations carried out in the museum area constantly providing more insight into life centuries ago.

The museum’s high-quality contemporary art exhibitions highlight current artists and phenomenas. The Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Foundation Art Collection is a varied assemblage of works from the recent history of Finnish and other Western art. The collection’s oldest works date from the end of the 19th century, but the emphasis is on works originating from after the 1950s to the present day.

Marko Vuokola: Sense and Sensibility – ARS NOVA, 8.6.-15.9.2024
Marko Vuokola’s poetic conceptual art explores perception and experience. Our way of being here is about understanding the world from a human perspective. The viewer and the object cannot be separated.

Irene Suosalo: REMIX – ARS NOVA, 8.6.-15.9.2024
Artist Irene Suosalo works in between established art forms. She has an original approach to animation and illustration that is more reminiscent of experimental video art or, more broadly, aspirations to an abstract art that combines the senses.

Vuokola: The Seventh-Wave Surge
Marko Vuokola
Irene Suosalo
A skeleton of a cat, photo: Jari-Nieminen
Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova
Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova