The year 2023 promises to be an exciting time in the arts in Finland, with a lot of great new exhibitions on the way, and not just in Helsinki. This guide introduces fascinating museums in Finland, and their upcoming highlights, located around the country, in Tampere, Turku, Mänttä, Mikkeli, Lapua, Jyväskylä, and Espoo.
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.
The two Serlachius museums in Mänttä, Gustaf and Gösta, form a unique tourist centre where you can enjoy art, history, architecture, as well as taste and sauna experiences in the middle of wonderful lake nature.
Serlachius comprises Art Museum Gösta, located in park lands by the shore of a lake, the recently opened Art Sauna in the same park, and Museum Gustaf, in the centre of the Art Town Mänttä. The three cultural attractions beautifully combine award-winning contemporary architecture with historic buildings. 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 to Museum Gustaf will enjoy dramatised history in experiential exhibitions, including the story of the Finnish paper magnate G.A. Serlachius. Visitors to Museum Gösta can also explore the sculpture park and an island dotted with contemporary art in the summer.
There are guided tours available for groups on request, including a fun drama tour in the style of the ‘50s. The brand new Art Sauna is a unique venue for meetings and parties, set in the middle of art, design, and wonderful architecture. When feeling peckish, 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 bus operating between Tampere and the museums in Mänttä on days the museum is open.
- This Could Go on Forever – Graffiti artist EGS’s body of works, until 5.3.2023
- Between Before and After – Clare Woods’ paintings, 26.3.2022 – 5.3.2023
- Morning Coffee on the Roof of a Town, Works from the Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation’s contemporary art collection, 5.11.2022 – 16.4.2023
- Haze – Lorna Simpson’s artworks, 13.5. — 8.10. 2023
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.
- Wäinö Aaltonen – The Joy of Creation ,4.2.- 21.5.2023
- Del LaGrace Volcano: Bodies of Resistance, 4.2.- 21.5.2023
- Young Artist of the Year 2023, 16.6. – 15.10.2023 (announced 16th of January)
- Backlight2023: Cruel Radiance, 16.6. – 15.10.2023
- Tuula Lehtinen – The Archeology of Beauty, 11.11.2023 – 30.3.2024
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, 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.
Mikkeli Art Museum
Mikkeli Art Museum was opened in 1970 as the Johannes Haapasalo Museum. The name was changed to Mikkeli Art Museum in 1976, following the donation of the Martti Airio collection. The art museum was appointed in 1981 to the South Savo Regional Art Museum. From 1970 to 2019 it was located in ‘Granite House’ in the city centre opposite the cathedral, built in 1912 and designed by the architect Armas Rankka. Since 2019 the Mikkeli Art Museum has been located in Akseli Shopping Centre, on the 2nd floor.
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.
- Another Real Sphere – Hinni Huttunen, until 22.1.2023
- Dark Atlas, photographs by Perttu Saksa, 10.2. – 21.5.2023
- 13th Mikkeli Illustration Triennial 10.6.- 24.9.2023
- Überhund – The Fascinating Dogs of Art, 13.10.2023- 28.1.2024
Lapua Art Museum
Lapua Art Museum presents a wide range of visual arts in its changing exhibitions three times a year. The exhibitions are shaped by local, national, and international art as a dialogue. The museum’s exhibitions can be distilled down to four general themes: Ostrobothnian art, works of young artists, foreign art, and pieces of nationally significant art. In addition to exhibitions focusing on various themes and topics, the art museum presents ensembles built from the collections. Lapua Art Museum has an important mission as a provider of cultural services, an exhibitor of modern art, and a builder of a diverse society, both locally and nationally. Entry to the museum is free.
Lapua Art Museum began with a collection donated to the City of Lapua in 1998 by Southern Ostrobothnia born Pauli Laurila (1917 – 1999). The condition of the donation was the construction of premises for the collection. The city decided the old surface treatment plant, which used to be part of the Lapua Cartridge Factory, was to be renovated and turned into an art museum for the collection. Lapua Art Museum opened its first exhibition on the 1st of October 2006.
Architect Onni Tarjanne designed the building in the 1920s for a cartridge factory’s charging station. Later it served as a tempering and surface treatment plant. Juha Leiviskä from Helsinki was chosen as the chief designer of the Lapua Art Museum. His versatile production presented a sensitive and distinctive spatial thinking light as the central and most influential factor. A bright and sensitive space was also designed for the Lapua Art Museum, where the starting point of the design was the combination of the building’s history and the present day.
- Näkökulmia – kokoelmanäyttely (Perspectives – Art Works from Lapua Art Museum’s Collection), until 21.1.2023
- TUULETUS! Art-emotion-sport, the exhibition approaches sport through art 11.2. – 27.5.2023
- Kudottu Matka, Lapuan Kankurit is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Lapuan Kankurit weave Nordic design, inspired by our pure and rugged nature, 10.6. – 9.9.2023
Jyväskylä Art Museum
Visitors to Jyväskylä Art Museum can discover a range of fascinating contemporary art, including visual art from Central Finland, Finnish and international printmaking, and drawings. The museum organises 3 to 4 main exhibitions every year, in addition to some smaller exhibitions on display.
The museum provides a space for visitors to explore, experience and understand art. The visitors can engage with art and learn about science in a fun way in Ilmiö, the third-floor Art Space. The museum also offers free workshops on Fridays where visitors can make art themselves without prior registration. In the lobby, it is possible to meet friends, talk with a cultural guide, or meet artists.
Jyväskylä Art Museum’s museum shop offers a wide selection of products, with a range that includes, for example, postcards, art books, calendars, jewellery, notebooks, puzzles, magnets, pins and other nice gifts.
Jyväskylä Art Museum is also responsible for Ratamo Printmaking and Photography Centre. Galleria Ratamo presents interesting Finnish and international printmaking and photographic art in its exhibitions. Art postcards, prints, photographs and art books are for sale in the gallery.
- Graphica Creativa 2022, until 29.1.2023
- Tiina Pyykkinen, 11.2.- 7.5.2023
- Überhund – The Fascinating Dogs of Art, 26.5.- 1.10.2023
- Elina Brotherus, 14.10.2023 – 21.1.2024
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 art collection.
The collection of the Aboa Vetus Ars Nova museum includes two entities: the art collection of the Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Foundation Art Collection 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.
- Aboa Vetus – Old Turku (permanent exhibition)
- Bony Tales (Aboa Vetus), the exhibition illustrates the interesting history of animals, presenting bones and entire skeletons of animals.
- Marjatta Holma: Paintings, until 12.2.2023 (Ars Nova)
- Mika Taanila: Film Reader, until 2.4.2023 (Ars Nova)
- Andersson X Ars Nova, 24.2. – 4.6. 2023 (Ars Nova)
- Rauha Mäkilä, 21.4. – 17.9. 2023 (Ars Nova)
- Kari Cavén, 16.6. – 17.9. 2023 (Ars Nova)
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.
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.
KAMU – Espoo City Museum is a museum of cultural history founded in 1958. Through its collection and exhibitions, it illustrates the history of the City of Espoo and its residents. KAMU offers visitors memorable museum experiences through its changing exhibitions, events, guided tours and virtual technology.
- Tapio Wirkkala – Form, until 06.10.2024
- Dora Budor: The Preserving Machine, until 02.04.2023
- Pilvi Takala: Close Watch 1.2. – 7.5.2023
- Yrjö Kukkapuro – Magic Room 1.3.2023 – 14.1.2024
- Hannaleena Heiska & Minna Tervamäki: Metamorphosis 5.4. – 3.9.2023
- Pierre Huyghe: Abyssal Plain 7.6.2023 – 25.2.2024
- Katarina Reuter: the winner of the 2022 Fine Arts Academy of Finland Prize, 4.10.2023 – 4.1.2024
- Collection Kakkonen – permanent exhibition
Touch, the collection exhibition of Saastamoinen Foundation, presents contemporary Finnish and international art – schedule for media space “Huone” (Room):
- Jesper Just: TheLonely Villa 1.2. – 28.5.2023
- Wong Ping: Stop Peeping 7.6. – 20.8.2023
- Wu Tsang: Anthem 6.9.2023 – 14.1.2024
- A thousand stories about Espoo – until 17.1.2025
- Teuvo Kanerva’s photographs from the 1960 – 70s, opens 9.3.2023
- Gård. Kartano. Manor – Stories about the Espoo Manor. Opens 26.10.2023