Ateneum and Modigliani

… yes, we, too, made it to Ateneum today to see some great works of the great Amedeo Modigliani. 

Needless to say I was thrilled before the exhibition, Modligani (and his friend of the times Anna Achmatova) belongs to my favourite artist of all times. I was expecting portraits, at least one landscape picture from the South of France, some reclining nudes, elegant ladies and more portraits of fine men.

I was disappointed. About 2/5 of the artwork is not by Modigliani but by his contemporaries. I would understand a few pieces put into comparison to or to contrast with Modigliani, but I felt like. In order to support my claim, a lot of room was taken by objects unrelated to Modigliani’s artwork, but more to life in Paris in early 20th century and destinies of some other artists of that time. Roll-ups, poster reproductions, multimedia presentations. No video about Modigliani or his work though. The whole experience was tainted by its mere insufficiency, just like artist’s own life was tainted by the menace of ill health.

And unfortunately, not too many Modigliani’s pieces of importance were exhibited. No bait. No climax. No soul. Two reclining nudes, quite a lot of portraits out of which a fan would recognise maybe two, a few sketches. Result of a limited budget and diverse barriers in gallery lending contracts I’d say. But if you are aware of these barriers, why not curate a topic- or time-based exhibition (just like the Inspired by Japan exhibition or whatever it was called, that was awesome! A great mosaic of Japanese influence.) rather than disappoint crowds lured in by big names?

Come if you have a Museokortti, it would be a shame not to come. It was not bad as such, but I would personally not like to spend 13€ (or 15€ with voluntary 2€ “donation” charge should donating 13€ not satisfy you) and get this experience. Guess I’m spoiled by London again where you are charged 12 pound and over for an exhibition ticket but you get so much out of the visit.

I felt left down. So much that I did not even feel like taking pictures, and it was a shame because of course my favourite of all works was not reproduced as a postcard.

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Hvitträsk.

Imagine being an architect. Imagine that you build the house of your in the middle of the Kirkkonummi forests (close to where the Aavaranta refugee facility is located nowadays, hah). It is the beginning of the 20th century and you are not alone in the quest of building “the house” – you have a group of several other architect friends of yours with you…

 

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Hvitträsk was designed between 1901-1903 by architects Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen; it served both as a common studio for them and as a home. And apparently as a venue for cultural events as Hvitträsk was also frequented by other artists, such as Jean Sibelius, Axel Gallen-Kallela and Maksim Gorki.

Oh my, this place is extraordinary. It is located just off the lake Vitträsk (hint: sauna), and surrounded by a beautiful English-style garden (currently the rose garden is under reconstruction, so don’t be disappointed)(hint: café). It is slightly different a home museum (kotimuseo); very modern, slightly bizarre in its romantic-castle-like way. Swarming with hiding places for the little ones and refuges for the little older ones. Homey yet representative, large yet cosy, modern yet romantic… well, I could live there.

Kouvola and Verla.

One sunny&rainy July Sunday we took another pure Museokortti trip to Kouvola and Verla. It was one of these extempore trips we planned the same morning, we looked at the museum map and Verla was within drivable distance.

So! We drew through Vantaa and after many a kilometer we arrived at Kouvola, home to airy and chronically empty Poikilo museum complex consisting of the Art Museum and the Town Museum.

I’m sorry, but the Art Museum was below average. I have only limited understanding for local postmodern art…

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… but the Town Museum was pretty cool, actually. It showed the Mannerin lipan alla exhibition – about the importance of a social/cultural space where the young locals could meet and spend some quality time…

… all those beautiful 60-80s artefacts, hand-drawn posters, brown-yellowish-orange decor, clothes of the time, small town atmosphere – I thought it was a great anthropological journey!

On the same street you will find a lot of lovely local spaces: little craft galleries (some of them unfortunately closed), a café with a blooming garden, a Tube Radio Museum (I know, right).

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For as little as I care about Tube Radios I believe that these places should be kept up open as a part of public service, in particular I wish the owners and runners of such museums will make sure that the museums will make it to the Museokortti map. It would definitely increase the publicity!

And after that it was time to continue to V/Werla: a UNESCO protected Groundwood and Board Mill. You can only access the museum as a part of a (great!) guided tour, and you are not allowed to take pictures (sob!).

You will love the machinery, the stories of certain workers, the atmosphere in the factory – and especially those machines which would  so much not comply with current health and safety regulations anywhere in the world!

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And a little bonus for my readers: a forbidden sneak peek from the tour 😉 the electricity box. Looks a bit sleepy…

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Come to Verla. You will enjoy it. If not the museum only, there are also some prehistoric paintings just across the river next to the museum and an array of craft shops. You want to try the toffee popsicles..!

 

This blog is not dead. Although it may seem so.

It is really shameful, but I’ve had some pretty rough weeks and blogging had to hang up two of my beloved blogs. It’s clearly not a good strategy, because as you all know, the secrets of any successful blog are:

  • update regularly, at least once a day or every two days
  • post pictures, blog readers are generally pretty lazy
  • connect with your readers through questions, etc.
  • make yourself (your blog) visible
  • make yourself visible quite literally and share uninteresting facts from your everyday life with your audience
  • blog about something at least remotly interesting
  • give something away now and again 😉 aka sell your soul as a marketing device

Ha, here I am, sitting on the bed in my PJs and writing in my blog which has been left untouched for waaaay too long. Herewith I would like to apologise to the handful of my friends and fans who care about this blog. This shall not happen again.

On a positive note, I have not been idle when it comes to touring Finnish museums 😉 check out the Museum list. Now I’m sitting here, scratching my hair and wondering how I’m going to go around this, especially as I already made some museum plans for the weekend.

Meh, let’s start with an easy one: on Tuesday I went to the Design Museum in Helsinki to check out Eero Aarnio’s exhibition. Now if you are wondering who on earth is Eero Aarnio, think Ball Chair, that dog you can sit on, the swam lamp… and that cute Duck kitchen timer! Yeah that’s all been designed by one guy, this guy!

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(not the guy in the chair though;)

The exhibition was awesome. Some of the exhibits were placed on robotic pedestals and cruising the main hall randomly. A cunning approach to the dialogue between the exhibit and the visitor…

… the museum must be really interesting to those who want to learn the basics of Finnish design; the layout is logical and “clean”, but a more advanced visitors won’t probably be astonished by anything in particular.

Downstairs was a section designated for some kind of young/experimental design, and it was quite playful, but somehow nothing extra remarkable. And that is my problem with Design Museums – all of those I’ve visited so far (London, Scandinavia, rest of Europe) have been just fine, but nothing I would write home about. Of course special exhibitions aside. I seem to get more feeling and knowledge from walking around the area, shopping for mundane goods, visiting homes and interacting with the space directly… What has your experience been with Design Museum? What should we present there, what message shall we communicate?

Sibelius goes Haltia and calls at Villa Gyllenberg.

He does not really, I did – within a span of a few weeks I visited Sibelius Museum in Turku during one of my brief stays in there, last week we went to a lovely concert free of charge (with a valid museum ticket or Museokortti) at Villa Gyllenberg – and yesterday I paid Haltia Nature Centre a quick visit, too. These museums have pretty much nothing in common but I feel that I would not be able to squeeze out a decent post for each of them on their own.

So, first things first: Sibelius Museum – don’t get trick by the name, you will of course learn about Sibelius’ life and works, but this museum is primarily devoted to music in general. The exhibit includes around 2 000 instruments from all around the world. And there is an awesome archive downstairs, with creepy corners and alike. And a whole room devoted to organs (as in the musical instruments, not body parts. Huh-huh.). A few lonely visitors aside I was pretty much the only visitor there, and that was pretty nice. If I was not ashamed enough I would definitely try out some of the instruments (it is allowed!), but for the sake of the fellow visitors, the museum staff and the humanity in general I did not.

I have to admit I would actually have appreciated more guidance on how music is produced using the exhibited instruments, in particular the organs… ah well, there is always Wikipedia.

My final verdict is quite easy: do you like music? Go. Would you like to see a collection of objects related to Sibelius, learn (once again) about his music and you have no time to get to Hämeenlinna? Go. If you answered No to one more of the questions, well, go, but don’t expect to be overly thrilled.

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The downstaris of the Sibelius Museum.

Now, Villa Gyllenberg round 2. This might sound really silly but we missed out on most of the exhibition part again due to poor time planning. We only just made it to the beginning of the concert by Folke Gräsbeck (piano) Linda Hedlund (violin) playing Busoni and Sibelius and it was simply great. AND! There are more concerts to come, so behold, Museokortti-holders, and check out the concert programme for this spring here!

And as for Haltia – The Finnish Nature Centre in Nuuksio: come to Nuuksio nevertheless. It is a balm for your soul nevermind the weather: if the weather is fine, take a hike of pretty much any length and have a great time, feel your blood-pressure sink and breathe in true Finland. Should the weather be a bit bad, take a walk anyways and smell the wood and walk at least to the lake. And in case you don’t feel outdoorsy at all, visit the museum: it is as close to the nature awaiting you outside the building as it gets.

I’d probably not pay for the museum ticket – simply because I’m not in a target group. I’m neither a school pupil or a family with children under 10 years of age. Haltia is simply yet another educational establishment concentrating knowledge about wild life and outdoor lifestyle in Finland, and to be fair it is a good educational establishment. Interactive, supporting a dialogue with the general public and enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

The architecture and the interior were really beautiful!

There are a number of little funny things inconspicuously hiding among “ordinary” exhibit. Like the super funny video about bear/bird watching (I mean me and bird watching?) – I absolutely loved it. Or the random exhibit of rabbits going o-oh at the sight of a bird of prey. Or the warm greetings on the guest wall (kuusi palaa, oh yes). Or the different kinds of dropping. Or the surrealistic exhibit picturing the birth of Finland – yeah, that’s the thing with two swans playing chess with nucleobases. It was lovely.

Haltia also serves as a conference or event venue, there is a decent lecture theatre with an impressive screen (think an average cinema – actually we were shown this beautiful time-lapse video about Finland by Riku Karjalainen) and a really, really good restaurant (although if you are seated on the terrace the chairs are supernoisy;). Come and see for yourself!

On the way from Lapland

You know you are kind of obsessed when you plan your skiing holiday around museums. And when you realise your journey home with all the diversions to museums would take around 2 days.

While enjoying Lapland with all its frolics we decided to take a short break from skiing and made a little trip to Kittilä and Levi and visited local Särestöniemi and Samiland museums.

Särestöniemi museum is a true gem: located in the middle of Lappish nowhere (I like I like!) is the old home of Särestöniemi family.

Their most famous member was Reidar Särestöniemi, a prominent Finnish artist. Apparently the Särestöniemis lived there until the very end; the last member of the family, Reidar’s brother Anton, died in 1997 – and visitors who managed to make it while he was still alive could meet him, talk to him, ask questions, take pictures…

… I would have definitely asked about the swimming pool in the gallery building: why, for the love of nature, why would you build a large swimming (not dipping) pool in the middle of the forests? And on the top floor of a building which has been used, well, for living? I see, sauna and all that, but really…

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Artists, hey. Anyways, I was surprised how open not only Reidar but all his family were. When Reidar wanted to travel and see the world in his 20s and 30s (that is in those times when mass tourism was nothing what even a Helsinki Finn would typically do), his parents helped him financially. As long as he earned the money by collecting and cutting wood. It warms my heart to see tolerant and oddity-liking or oddity-interested Finns – or to know of them.

Oh and some examples (yes, I did take pictures of artwork again) of Reidar’s work:

I could watch them for hours: those simple strokes. The structure. The colours (either really strong and in contradiction to what he could have experienced in Lapland or mild, light Finnish shades of grey, brown, grey and blue).

Nowadays, the museum feels really warm and homey: there are very few museum guards around, you are simply asked not to touch or steal anything. The cafeteria staff makes own buns – and talk a lot. You are welcome to share a piece of the creative atmosphere.

And now a few words about Samiland: it is great for those who want a change from skiing and partying in Levi, or a foreign tourist longing to learn more about the indigenous Sami. It is also fine if you are willing to read a lot of facts on the displays. And if you love reindeers, it is pretty damn awesome, because you will meet some (alive and walking around) there and for a moment you will forget that you are actually in the hotel yard (the main exhibition is in a hotel’s cellar) and that the name of the place is Samiland (ouch).

With the magical Museokortti not only you save money, but you will also get a free coffee (or hot chocolate with marshmallows) with your visit. But as I mentioned on my other blog, I highly suggests chipping in additional 3 € and buying a bag of lichen for the reindeers. They will adore you.

 

On the way back we passed Jyväskylä. Due to the general fatigue and our time schedule we did not make it to any of “real” museums, however, we managed to make it to the Finnish Airforce Museum in Tikkakoski.

Planes. Helicopters. Missiles. Catapult chairs. Models. An open fighter jet cockpit you can climb into. Air traffic communication devices. Lots of swastikas (Finnish pre-WW2 airforce marking). Quite relaxing walk and a nice change to sitting in the car.

 

Tamminiemi and Didrichsen Museums

One lovely Sunday afternoon we decided to go for a guided tour (several times per week, free with the ticket or Museokortti) to visit Tamminiemi, a villa with a great importance for Finland’s political and governmental life.

Let me quote the official website: “Tamminiemi Villa is located in Meilahti adjacent to Seurasaari museum island on a beautiful park estate which used to be President Urho Kekkonen’s official residence during his period in office between 1956 and 1981. In those days it was known as the centre of Finland’s political and governmental life. Tamminiemi is furnished the way it was in Kekkonen’s time.” 

I don’t really know why I was not taking pictures – probably because I was enjoying the tour that much and was trying to show some respect to the guide. But it was great. Think Kekkonen: masculine, needing to control everything (from his weight and his time schedule to international politics), physically fit, bold (and bald). Add some 1970s spirit and colours (the canary yellow kitchen cabinets!), plus a collection of art books and presents from people of power. And last but not least, take all that and break in all those stories and details of Kekkonen’s personal as well as political life.

I swear I could smell cigar smoke, fish and Russian soap there.

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Seriously, do make extra efforts to make it to the guided tour – in whatever language you prefer. You won’t regret. And if you have extra money to spend (around 3,500 €) I would recommend to rent the sauna (yes, that sauna).

From Tamminiemi we wanted to proceed to Villa Gyllenberg. The private home of the wealthy Gyllenberg family and their art collection (and donations to the collection) is open only two days per week; the day we visited was supposed to be one of them but it also was the day the new exhibition was installed. The exhibition is now open, so expect a report soon!

So we walked about 300m to Didrichsen Art Museum and visited the exhibition on Soviet Art. The exhibition includes several dozen works from years 1920-95 from Mikhail Arefyev’s private collection.

First, I appreciate the collector story: Arefyev is a dentist who travelled around Russia and bought art directly from the painters, not via galleries or auction houses.

Most importantly, the exhibition was pretty awesome. Being from a post-com country I have a very fiery relationship to social realism and soviet architecture – it appals and attracts me at the same time, yet in this case it was fascinating to reveal the new face of social realism.

It was really interesting to explore this new face of social realism! Yes, you can taste the propaganda from the paintings: portraits of working people, lot of rural motives, stories of the everyman. But particularly during Stalin era the regime left some space for artist’s individuality and certain “easiness” as well: it is not all about work, struggle and fight, there is also an exciting human side of the coin of socialist life.

And allowed a lot of space for artistic avant-garde.

 

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Pall-Mall:ing in Helsinki

Some errants brought me to the areas around Helsinki’s Vanhankaupunginselkä – you know, that bay reaching all the way to Viiki. I have mentioned these whereabouts on my other blogs a few times (for example here or here); the greenery and nature reserve invites to come and play and frolic around.

There are a two Museokortti museums in the area: Tekniikan museo (Museum of Technology) and Arabia Museum, a part of Design Museum.

I started at the Museum of Technology. I have to mention that it has been around 3 weeks since I visited the museum, and back then I was desperately looking out for signs of spring and sun. And I got them.

The walk from the carpark to the museum is exciting, abundant red brick buildings equal anticipation of a lot of urban fun. Well. These buildings looked interesting, but they are not a part of the museum – in fact they are used by private companies and therefore hidden from our curious eyes…

Some good promises of cultural experience on the way to the museum.

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The museum itself is, well, great for school children I suppose. It is one of those places which are trying to encompass everything – everything remotely connected to the word or concept of technology. Naturally the overall experience would at best be fragments of facts rather than some kind of a story. The area is somehow divided in several parts, but their message or storyline is somehow unclear too – and this is where the differences between individual museums in this category appear: some science or technology museums not only have much larger collections but are also able to present coherent messages and provide quality customer experience.

Unfortunately, this museum did not deliver. Despite Finnish technology boom of the past century.

But some individual exhibits were pretty cool, presenting bits and pieces of Finnish industrial pride: Nokia products (no rubber boots or toilet paper though), a functional Kone lift from 1930s (not unlike the one in our house), some old Alko caps and a selection of domestic plastic items.

 

In this sense, the Museum of Technology is quite interesting for those who are interested in Finnish facts and lifestyle. I mean have YOU seen a single Finnish households without some of the following items? Plastex freezer boxes? That lemon press?

 

 

The Arabia Museum promises to provide “a comprehensive overview of the products and the rich history of the Arabia factory”.

You will see a lot of cups and general crockery. And a 2 year old poster inviting to an exhibition which was partly not there.

You will not see too many product line examples from the past years – and no Moomin cups. And you won’t learn that much about the history of the factory, and even so less about technology of production.

And if you are as lucky as me, you won’t be greeted or paid any attention to…

 

Bank of Finland Museum (Rahamuseo) and Helsinki University Museum (HY museo)

I was just taking pictures of tractors invading Senaatintori and decided to spend some spare time visiting more museums. Both Rahamuseo (translated as Money Museum, but in fact the official name is Bank of Finland Museum) and Helsinki Univeristy Museum are only a stone’s throw from Senaatintori, and fall under the category of museums which I would not probably visit without the museokortti…

… but shortly I found out that the entry to the museum is free. That’s great, but deep inside I was a bit disappointed. Or the little scrooge in me was: I did not save any money. Both museums however sell – among other souvenirs – museokortti, so at least they serve as a cool marketing tool.

Now, I was really surprised. Both museums are fun, interactive, multimedial and definitely worth a visit.

Helsinki University Museum is located on Fabianinkatu 33, in the main University building, and before you reach the third floor you will kind of feel lost or inappropriate as you will sail through the empty corridors where nobody will question your presence. This freedom and trust from the side of the university (trusting you that you won’t go amok or so) is pretty unusual, yet pretty common to instituted of higher education.

And the museum is really nice: recently refurbished it educates the visitors in a playful way not only about the history of the university or higher education in Finland in general and the student life throughout centuries, but you will also learn a great deal about the city of Helsinki and Finland in general. You will understand more the importance of Finnish rites of passage for example. Or you will finally get to know after whom the streets are named after. Or how Finland became one of the top countries in battling infant mortality, and, sigh, again, you will be acquainted with the contents of a maternity package from the 50s (?). The only thing missing was the key to colours of student overalls, that keeps bothering me…

I particularly loved those short videos about student life throughout centuries. I actually laughed. Oh and of course some artefacts from the times of Swedish vs. Finnish battling.

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While walking from the University museum to the Moneyyyyz Museum I discovered by complete coincidence that there is a crypt in the back of the white church/cathedral. It is serving as an exhibition/social space, and, well, it presents a great contrast to the shiny clean whiteness of the cathedral. There was indeed an exhibition going on – I remember it was the Art university students – as well as a small band practicing, one girl reading in the crypt’s gloom, well – why not, I thought it was awesome. And clear of tourists, ha.

Bank of Finland Museum is located just around the corner, on Snellmaninkatu 2. On the website you can read about the museum’s purpose: it is designed mainly for schools, students, pupils and other history enthusiasts. It serves as a tool for making the public familiar with monetary policies and more ready to handle own finances. Well. The museum was empty for the entire half an hour I spent there, so I guess Finnish finance literacy will remain the same;)

Let’s face it, I was not there to learn how banks work, how they lend money and what is the purpose of the central bank, but if I was I would definitely learn something. I was there to check out the exhibition celebrating 150 years of statistics in Finland, and that was, well, for a sociologist like me pretty exciting. One learned how people’s life standard, life expectancy and general living conditions changed throughout the time. It did…

… the main exposition was, leaving the central bank stuff aside, quite well done. A bit dark and gloomy lighting, typical for Finnish museums, but pretty exciting if you wanted to learn about Finnish economics AND design of old Finnish notes. And the sentiment – still very alive in the society – around the old Finnish currency, markka. I loved the variety of key-chain tools for converting markka to euro (and back) which were used (or not? Who knows) when Finland join the Eurozone in 1999.

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Or the largest lump of gold ever found in Finland. Or squirrel furs used as currency. Or different markka-designs. Come and see for yourself!

 

Rauma

I noticed (it’s nothing revolutionary) that buying a Museokortti only makes sense if you live or spend most time around the three largest cities in the south of Finland. That’s where the concentration of museums is the largest, and the chance that you will find more enthusiast me-like is much higher. Of course there are exceptions (read: freaks), but after our weekend spent in Rauma I understood how tiring it can be to travel casually to museums. It costs time, money and a lot of patience and motivation.

Rauma, by the way, is pretty. The town of lace. Of ship-building. Of paper and cellulose industry. Of wooden houses.

There are six museums in Rauma, quite a number for a small town. Two of these were closed, so we were left with visiting four of them. I know from my own experience that once you live in such a place you only visit the museums once or at best a few times in a lifetime. There is simply no reason to see the same exhibition again, and you can use the money more wisely. Fair enough!

But we discovered a new potential for Museokortti: the entry to museums was free for kids, and we happened to have had a local child with us. Who, in fact, was quite happy to do something unusual on a grey and dull weekend (and with the crazy Helsinki peps). And who actually enjoyed herself a lot.

Alone she would probably not visit the museums on her own, and I completely understand that. So two adults and one kid + two Museokorttis = good times for all of us, and maybe a beginning of a brand new museum fan’s story?

The first two pictures in the collage are from Vanha Raatihuone, one of three expositions of the Museum of Rauma. Well, the lace-making and -history part was awesome. The rest of the exposition focused on the old history of Rauma and on technical details of archaeological excavations (mostly around the area of Sammmallahdenmäki, UNESCO-listed burial site from the Bronze Age).

From Raatihuone we proceeded to Marela, yet another kotimuseo, ie. someone’s home. And again, this time the house belonged to TRIFs (“those rich industrial f*cks“)(I mean influential family of factory owners), shipbuilder-family Granlund. Most of the items come from 19th century, most of the rooms have some slight sea-related touch. Touch meaning a subtle touch, not stuffed turtles and rudders (these you find in Merimuseo, Rauma Maritime Museum). The current exhibition showed the (brief) history of Daycare and daycare games, and it was quite pleasant – especially as we had a kid with us who actually remembers her stay in the communal daycare 🙂 Another interesting yet kind of fitting exhibition was… silk. History. Silkworms. Different kinds of woven silk. Colours. Why not.

On the following day we checked out the Maritime Museum, and the exposition was very well presented. Apparently ships were built in Rauma until 2013 (!), and the sea/maritime/traveling theme is still present in and important the local community. People build ship models. Their ancestors worked in ship-building or travelled the world ’round…

DSC_1740The museum building’s tower resembles a lighthouse and is visible from far away.

As you can probably guess, you will find a lot of maritime navigation artefacts, souvenirs, documents, etc. in here, will become acquainted with the sailor’s weekday, learn about wreck diving, ship building, there is even a navigation simulator and a 1:1 model of the lower deck… it was pretty cool, even people lacking sea-legs (me!) liked it – and kids would have loved it too, because there were tons of touchables, interactive tablet-based stations, play corners, multimedia presentations. Thumbs up!

The last stop was another humble (not) house. Another house of rich people enjoying and collecting pretty things, Teresia and Rafael Lönnström.

I liked the house, I liked the atmosphere, I didn’t think that the art gallery adjacent to the house was anything special. I liked some of the paintings. And the collection of grandma-like dust-catchers.

BUT I absolutely loved the personal items belonging to the last owner of the house, Teresia. There is currently a small exhibition of her dresses (pretty things everywhere) taking place upstairs in the museum (you have to conquer the stairs “decorated” by a row of guns (what a pity that TRIFs did not show much interest in Feng Shuei), but what I meant were the half-empty bottles of body lotions, a 1970s hair dryer, a toilet or reception hall which serve their purpose even today. It felt as if the madam just glanced off to pick a bottle of soda from the nearby R-kioski.

The last stop of the was on our way back to Helsinki, in the town of Salo. And this is something which makes me a bit angry: I planned our museum visits around this map which can be found on the Museokortti official website. Yes. The official Museokortti map. It is a great idea actually, you just kind of pick the points you will passing straight from the map. BUT the catch is that the map apparently is not updated regularly. In Salo area only the Art Museum is listed on the map, there is zero mention of Salo Historical Museum SAMU. Not that I would be too keen on old microwaves, but as I’ve become addicted to visiting new museums (and ashamed of it sometimes) and don’t know when again (and WHY) I will happen to be in Salo, I would have planned our afternoon a bit differently and have included a visit to SAMU in it. It’s a shame.

But Juha Metso‘s photography exhibition in Salo Art Museum was so amazing it left me in awe and I forgot all about the old machines. Those pictures were so full of emotion. So full of atmosphere.

My absolute favourite series were the pictures from contemporary “Russian” Karelia. Little moments of sentiment and humanity. Search for identity. Worshipping of Putin. And the impression the pictures must have had on the Finnish museum visitor…

… I  have to admit that prior to starting this blog I would have never taken a picture of an exhibit in a museum/art. I always despised of people who did that and would always mutter something about barbarians. Right, well, I do take pictures of what can be found in the museums I visit. Partly in order to make the reader familiar with the atmosphere of the museum, partly because I want to offer a small sample of what the exhibition is about. Just saying.

Now go and book your Onnibus tickets to Salo.