Riihimäki and Hyvinkää: Lasimuseo, Metsästysmuseo, Hyvinkään taidemuseo, Rautatiemuseo

i.e. last Sunday’s trip was museum-wise quite productive.

We started in Lasimuseo, the Glass Museum in Riihimäki. It was quite big and it definitely offered a little bit for everyone: history enthusiasts, technogeeks, esthetes and ordinary Finns. The last named group will probably recognise a lot of every-day (or feast-day) items they or their relatives have or used to have at home – Finnish is a land of everyday functional design and quality after all. To my liking. Oh and the souvenir shop is great, they sell some contemporary glass artworks by Finnish artists – a simple hand moulded bird by Lasismi is resting on my desk now…

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Literally across the road we made it to the Metsästysmuseo, the Hunting Museum. My first reaction was WHY?! my second reaction was WHYYY?!, my third reaction was “poor little reindeer” – and the last reaction was “aww this is a cute postcard”. I’m sorry, I take no interest in hunting or weapons or shooting for amusement, therefore I cannot appreciate fully what the museum had to offer. Personally the most interesting part was – besides the shop – the Trophy Collection of Jaakko Ojanperä. I tried to enjoy it as a kind of a still-zoo rather than a collection of exotic trophies. The majority of trophies (read: stuffed animals) were not behind glass walls, in this way it was pretty impressive. In another room we all learned about Finnish birds and about 452 different kind of “ducks”. Oh yeah. And last AND least, there was the contemporary hunting part and some kind of a hunting simulator: no, I’m not going to shoot a mama elk and a baby elk (or other way round apparently).

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We proceeded to Hyvinkää after this experience, because Riihimäki art museum was closed: BOO! No mention of closures online or on the spot. I understand that it probably is not the top attraction in Riihimäki, but an apologetic note would be appreciated (it was cold outside). Now, the first stop was the Railway Museum in Hyvinkää. The exposition is a bit limited during the winter – obviously. Not unlike the Aviation museum the emphasis was on the actual machines in depots. Huge engines, smell of oil and tar, old carriages – including the only remaining Russian imperial train in the world. Which was awesome.

The biggest downside of this part of the exhibition was the fact that you could not enter any of the trains or engines. I understand that crowds of Finnish tourists and velvet and silk cushioning of the luxury imperial train compartments maybe don’t make the match made in heaven, but… but… I really wanted to take a look. I love travelling by trains, including night trains, and I would love to see how people travelled back in times (or maybe not even that long back, I mean how many different sleeping carriages you have been to recently for example?) – and believe me, you won’t see much from the ground. The carriages are not lit from inside, and the windows are usually really high up.

Outside the main depot area we visited the old wooden station – that was very interesting. Just like any old buildings. Oh and the Ladies’ waiting room (not meaning a toilet) was awesome, I would love to see those nowadays: cushioned comfy chairs, mirrors, refreshments, safe and cosy.

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The last stop for today was the Hyvinkään taidemuseo, Art Museum of Hyvinkää. And it was what it was: a provincial town art gallery.

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I’m not a big fan of Helvi Mustonen whose exhibition was (and is) on, that probably did not really help. But I’m immensely grateful to Hyvinkää for (re)introducing me to Helene Schjerfbeck, Finnish modernist painter whose works are being presented in Tammisaari at the moment (hint: free entrance with Museokortti). A must go.

 

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