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Poplar Alley and Other Works from the Emil Aaltonen Collection

August 5 @ 10:00-17:00

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, repeating until 23.8.2020


Emil Aaltonen (1869–1949), a successful shoe manufacturer from Tampere, built a significant art collection between 1910s and 1940s. The collection is comprised of 19th and early 20th century Finnish art and older European pieces. Aaltonen’s favourite artists included Albert Edelfelt and the Von Wright brothers.

Aaltonen built his collection in Tampere at the same time when Frithjof Tikanoja and Karl Hedman were putting together their own collections in Vaasa. Aaltonen and Hedman even competed for the same artworks on a few occasions. It was close that Werner Holmberg’s Poplar Alley (1857) could have become a part of Hedman’s collection.

In the beginning of 1930s Emil Aaltonen bought Pyynikinlinna, a grand, two-storey stone building designed by Jarl Eklund. The spacious halls of his new home offered a worthy environment for the artworks and the collection got the opportunity to grow. However, the collection was not meant only to decorate his own home. Like many of his contemporaries, Aaltonen believed in the civilising and educating qualities of art. The collection forms a thorough overview of the Finnish and European art history. Today the building hosts Emil Aaltonen Museum, the co-producer of the exhibition.

Many themes that were important to Aaltonen are present in the collection. The fennoman movement encouraged him to acquire works that portrayed Finnish nature or traditional life and landscapes of the countryside. He was also drawn to depictions of people. These two themes come together in Hugo Simberg’s Sheep Girl (1913), in a touching portrayal of family’s 12-year-old maidservant standing at the barn door with a lamb in her arms.

Religion was also important to Aaltonen and the collection includes several works with religious subject matter. The exhibition displays depictions of the Madonna from 14th to 17th century.

The exhibition includes artworks from the following artists:  Nina Ahlstedt, Hannes Autere, David Beck, Gunnar Berndtson, Francois Bonnet, Fanny Churberg, Carl Johan Danielson, Elin Danielsson-Gambogi, Albert Edelfelt, Robert Wilhelm Ekman, Gabriel Enberg, Antti Favén, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Francesco da Santa Croce, Barbieri Giovanni Francesco Guercino, Pekka Halonen, Werner Holmberg, Louis Jean François Lagrenée, Alexander Lauréus, Michiel Janszoon van Mierevelt, Hjalmar Munsterhjelm, Helene Schjerfbeck, Hugo Simberg, Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, Johannes Takanen, Woldemar Toppelius, Ezio Trapassi, Dora Wahlroos, Pietro della Vecchia, Eugene Verboechoven, Victor Westerholm, Maria Wiik, Philips Wouwerman, Ferdinand von Wright, Magnus von Wright and Viktoria Åberg.


August 5
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