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…
The 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.