Sara Hildén Art Museum

Sara Hildén Art Museum

The Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere, Särkänniemi, is known for its collection, exhibitions, publications, sculpture park, architecture and its unique museum café, Café Sara.

The Sara Hildén Art Museum is an art museum run by the City of Tampere, which houses the collection of Finnish and foreign modern and contemporary art owned by the Sara Hildén Foundation. The museum manages and exhibits works from the foundation’s collection. The museum also hosts changing exhibitions. The exhibition program includes presentations of Finnish contemporary art as well as high-quality international modern art and contemporary art exhibitions.

Sara Hildén (1905–1993) was a Tampere-based businesswoman who donated her art collection in 1962 to a foundation bearing her name. In 1975, an agreement was signed between the Sara Hildén Foundation and the City of Tampere to establish the Sara Hildén Art Museum. The museum was opened to the public on February 11, 1979.

Collection of the Sara Hildén Foundation

The collection of the Sara Hildén Foundation was the result of long and determined expert work. However, the starting point for the whole activity was Sara Hildén’s own personal and passionate relationship with the visual arts. The work was not purchased for the collection unless she herself liked it. She treated the works of art like her own children, loved them and was always ready to talk about them and present them. The arrival of the new work in the collection was a moment of celebration.

The collection of the Sara Hildén Foundation consists of Finnish and foreign paintings, sculptures, drawings and graphics, and is one of Finland’s largest and most significant collections of modern and contemporary art. The foundation will continue to build the collection and save its acquisitions at the Sara Hildén Art Museum. At present, the collection includes about 5,000 works, and the art collection of graphic artist Pentti Kaskipuro, received as a testamentary donation.

Sara Hildén augmented the collection with the help of experts. She acquired the classics of modernism to enable the museum to provide visitors with an overview of key art historical phenomena of the early 20th century. She also bought contemporary art, in which case the purchases were usually related to the changing exhibitions organized by the museum.

In 1984, Sara Hildén was awarded the title of Professor. Thanks to her, our country has a collection of international modern art, the value and high level of which is also recognized outside the borders of our country. As a collector of Finnish contemporary art, she acted as a respected patron and especially as an open-minded supporter of young artists. The Foundation’s collection of contemporary art has also provided a starting point for diverse exhibition co-operation, which has made possible many significant exhibitions presenting both Finnish and foreign contemporary art at the Sara Hildén Art Museum.

Museum building

The Sara Hildén Art Museum has been designed by Pekka Ilveskoski’s Architect’s Office. The building is situated on a northern slope of the Särkänniemi peninsula overlooking a shoreline of a scenic lakeside landscape.. It is designed to be two-story using beautifully topographical features of the site. The large landscape windows offer a view of the sculpture park and Lake Näsijärvi surrounding the museum.