Järvenpää Art Museum is bringing the art classics of the Finnish Golden Age to Tallinn

  • 2019-08-12
  • TBT Staff

On Thursday, 15 August at 4 pm, the exhibition The Visit. Eero Järnefelt and Venny Soldan-Brofeldt will open at the Adamson-Eric Museum. The exhibition of works by outstanding artists of the Finnish Golden Age has been organised as a collaboration between the Järvenpää Art Museum and the Adamson-Eric Museum, and is part of the jubilee programme marking the centenary of the Art Museum of Estonia.

Around the beginning of the 20th century, the Finnish Golden Age classics Eero Järnefelt (1863‒1937) and Venny Soldan-Brofeldt (1863‒1945) lived and worked in the artist colony at Lake Tuusula, which is well-known in Finnish cultural history.  On the picturesque shores of Lake Tuusula near Helsinki, with its beautiful nature, a community of National Romantic creative people developed in the 1890s. At the centre of the group were the famous artists Eero Järnefelt, Venny Soldan-Brofeldt and Pekka Halonen, as well as the composer Jean Sibelius and the writer Juhani Aho. They were connected by ties of friendship and family. With its peace and quiet, the vicinity of Lake Tuusula was an excellent place for creative work. The high points of Eero Järnefelt’s and Venny Soldan-Brofeldt’s creative journeys occurred at a time when, in connection with international art trends, the visual language of the national ideal and identity of Finland developed. 

The exhibition on the two floors at the Adamson-Eric Museum includes over 70 works. On display are colourful landscapes, natural lyricism, portraits of the members and children of the artist colony, and compositions depicting ordinary life. All of the works belong to the exceptionally rich Järnefelt and Soldan-Brofeldt collection at the Järvenpää Art Museum, and they are being exhibited outside of Finland for the first time.

“The Järvenpää Art Museum is pleased to present works by significant masters of Finnish cultural history and to introduce the phenomenon of the Lake Tuusula artist colony at the Adamson-Eric Museum in the heart of Tallinn's Old Town. The initiative for our collaboration came from the Finland 100 organising committee. It is wonderful that we can commemorate the centenaries of both Estonia and the Art Museum of Estonia with reciprocal exhibitions,” said Hanna Nikander, Director of the Järvenpää Art Museum.

The exhibition is part of broader cooperation between the Adamson-Eric Museum and the Järvenpää Art Museum, and in October a reciprocal exhibition of the works of Adamson-Eric, one of the central 20th-century modernists of Estonia, will open at the Järvenpää Art Museum. “Culture has always formed a strong bridge between Estonia and Finland. And we hope that, thanks to the excellent cooperation between our museums, many Finnish art lovers will also become acquainted with Adamson-Eric, one of the most outstanding and versatile artists in Estonian art history,” said Kersti Koll, Curator of the Adamson-Eric Museum.

Among other things, the exhibition provides an excellent opportunity to explore the historical ties of the Baltic Sea region more broadly: the Baltic-German roots of the art classic Eero Järnefelt’s maternal family reach back to Estonia. One of the forefathers of the artist’s mother, Elisabeth Järnefelt (b. Clodt von Jürgensburg, 1839‒1929), was Estonia’s Land Counsellor and Livonia’s Field Marshall Gustav Adolf Clodt. And the chapel he had built in Tallinn’s St Nicholas Church in 1673 is in the vicinity of the Adamson-Eric Museum.

Descendants of Eero Järnefelt and Venny Soldan-Brofeldt will also attend the official opening of the exhibition. 

Several events and educational programmes will accompany the exhibition, as will a children’s summer camp.

The first curatorial tour will take place at 12 noon on Friday, 16 August. The exhibition will be introduced by Hanna Nikander, Director of the Järvenpää Art Museum (in English).

Films about Eero Järnefelt and Venny Soldan-Brofeldt will be screened in the museum’s basement and the Art Cellar will be open for creative self-expression.

The exhibition opening is part of the Tallinn satellite programme of the Helsinki Arts Night programme, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Within this framework, an art workshop for children and young people, which is a collaborative project of the Estonian Union for Child Welfare and the Finnish Central Union for Child Welfare, will take place on 15 August between 4 pm and 7 pm in the Niguliste St. green space.

The exhibition will be open until 1 December 2019.