Wright, Ferdinand von: Pigs and Magpies (1875), National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Picture: National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen


The collection exhibition raises some of the most pressing questions of the 2000s while providing new insights into the formation of Ateneum's collections. The star of next spring's temporary exhibition is Albert Edelfelt, whose retrospective is returning home. Meanwhile, some colour and light are added to the autumn by Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist art.

Ateneum will reopen to the public on 14 April 2023.

The museum was closed in March 2022 for ventilation renovation. Other changes include the refurbishment of the Ateneum Museum Shop, toilets, atrium (between the old museum shop and the restaurant) and Ateneuminkuja entrance. The spaces will be made more accessible and inviting, as the museum wants to continue to serve as the meeting place of choice and a building where visitors wish to spend time.

Next year will see the launch of three exhibitions. The first, opening together with the museum in April and remaining open for several years, is the new collection exhibition A Question of Time. The content of the exhibition will be updated and works on exhibition changed as necessary over time.

One exhibition, four topical themes

A Question of Time looks at Ateneum's art collection comprising works from four centuries, with a fresh focus particularly on how the collection has formed over time. How have power structures and the evolving history of ideas, individuals such as museum staff and collectors, or pure coincidence affected the formation of the collection? Why were certain acquisitions made and others not?

"The value of a memory institution such as ours is in sustaining a continuum and an understanding of why and how we have arrived where we are today," says Marja Sakari, Museum Director of the Ateneum Art Museum. "The works selected for the new collection exhibition communicate and create knowledge and meanings although the way we interpret works depends on the viewer and the time."

The four themes of the exhibition – The Age of Nature, Images of a People, Modern Life and Art and Power – penetrate the current topics of public debate in society.

Exhibition website

Edelfelt is coming home after visits to France and Sweden

In addition to the new collection exhibition, 2023 will also see the launch of two temporary exhibitions at Ateneum, both featuring works previously unseen in Finland.

The first of these, the Albert Edelfelt (1854–1905) retrospective opening in May, looks from an international perspective at the life's work of one of Finland's most renowned and popular artists. While living and working in France, he met several of the leading names in the field of art, culture and science as well as art collectors and dealers.
Prior to reaching Ateneum, the Edelfelt retrospective toured Petit Palais in Paris and the Gothenburg Museum of Art. Received to wide public acclaim, the exhibitions have produced further research and new knowledge on Edelfelt's life and career.
The exhibition will be open from 5 May until 17 September 2023.

Exhibition website

The Impressionism exhibition features works previously unseen in Finland

Opening in October, Colour and Light – Impressionism in Finland and in the World introduces Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist art from the period 1860–1916. The exhibition draws parallels between the great masters of international art and the brief but flourishing period in Finnish art from 1906 to 1916. Among the international artists included in the exhibition are Claude Monet, August Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Alfred William Finch, Paul Signac and Theo van Rysselberghe. Finnish artists included in the exhibition are Alvar Cawén, Antti Favén, Magnus Enckell, Pekka Halonen, Ellen Thesleff, Verner Thóme, Yrjö Ollila, Tyko Sallinen and Wilho Sjöström, among others.
The exhibition will be open from 20 October 2023 until 25 February 2024.

Exhibition website


Source: Ateneum Art Museum