Pink Twins Infinity, 2016 online artwork, accessible at arsplus.kiasma.fi/en/ Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Commission

The Dance of the Digital

Gill Crabbe, FNG Research

As ARS17 gets underway at Helsinki’s Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, visitors will be able to view many of the artworks online from anywhere in the world. The show’s two curators, Marja Sakari and Arja Miller, discuss the implications of online art for museum professionals and its impact on collecting and conservation practices 

I am sitting in a glass-panelled office in the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, one of the Finnish National Gallery’s three art museums, in Helsinki, with two of the curators of its upcoming exhibition, ARS17. Over coffee, they show me an artwork that I can access on my smartphone by a Finnish artist duo, Pink Twins. The work, called Infinity, consists of an interactive sound platform, with a library of sound material that I can use to create mixes from four stereo tracks, manipulating them individually to alter the combinations and qualities of the sound. It includes instructions for use, as well as FAQs for ‘visitors’. Once I have created my unique piece of music, then I just save and download the mp3 version, and share in Facebook. Wow, I am an artist! Hello World!

One of the key developments in contemporary art practice this century has been the use of the internet and the possibilities for art-making it offers – like, for example, producing works online. Ever since the American art theorist Lucy Lippard predicted the dematerialisation of the art object in the late 1960s, the trajectory of conceptual art has left an indelible mark on art processes. Now that the millennial generation of digital natives is bringing these ever-evolving new media to the table, art museums and collectors are facing fresh challenges in finding ways not only to curate digital art, but also to collect it. With only a few museums supporting dedicated accessible online art archives – the Whitney Museum in New York being one of the pioneers in the field with its Artport website – Kiasma’s ‘ARS17 Hello World!’ is at the forefront of bringing online art into the fold.

Featured image: Pink Twins, Infinity, 2016, online artwork, accessible during ‘ARS17’ at arsplus.kiasma.fi/en/
Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Commission

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ARS 17 Hello World!’ 31 March 2017 – 14 January, 2018, Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiasma, Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki; ‘ARS17+’, visit arsplus.kiasma.fi

Tuomo Rainio: Untitled (Gravitation Waves), 2017 Nimetön (Gravitaatioaallot), 2017 Kiasman komissioteos / Kiasma Commission

The Second Coming of Online Art

Arja Miller, MA, Chief Curator, Finnish National Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki

Also published in Leevi Haapala, Eija Aarnio, Jari-Pekka Vanhala (eds.), ARS17 Hello World! Taide internetin jälkeen / Art After the Internet. A Museum of Contemporary Art Publication 156/2017. Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, 2017, 174–175

‘The internet is a monument to an ever-changing present.’
 Angelo Plessas

‘Program or be programmed.’
 Douglas Rushkoff

Kiasma’s ARS17 exhibition (31 March, 2017 – 14 Jan, 2018) is a response to the global digital revolution and its ubiquitous impact on our culture and daily behaviour. Over the past few years, new technology has radically changed our social relations, our everyday routines and our modes of interacting, communicating, feeling and bringing together communities. The impact of the digital revolution is also inescapably felt in the practice of art, and in the ways that art is presented and collected. A growing spectrum of noteworthy art is native to the internet, where it is also intended to be consumed and enjoyed, either via social media or mobile app. Given that Kiasma’s core mandate is to keep up with the latest trends and most interesting new practices in the field of contemporary art, we felt it was high time we reactivated ourselves as exhibitors and collectors of online works.

The ARS17 exhibition provided a timely impetus for this initiative. Parallel to the physical exhibition, we decided to curate an online exhibition spotlighting digital art and giving this growing genre the attention it deserves. ARS17+ spills outside the gallery walls into the virtual realm, where it can be enjoyed by anyone, any time, virtually anywhere in the world, via mobile device or any web browser/internet connection. Meanwhile, an interesting challenge is posed by the works that will remain permanently in Kiasma’s collection after the exhibition is over: How can our museum maintain and, above all, preserve a wide variety of digital artworks that rely on specific software and devices? How and in what environment will they be accessible after the ARS17 project is over?

Kiasma had already recognised the relevance of the internet as a forum for contemporary art back in the 1990s, when the web was still young and society embraced a wave of cyber-utopianism. Back then, there was a band of interesting Finnish artists busily experimenting with new media. Juha van Ingen and Mikko Maasalo co-organised Finland’s first-ever internet art project in 1995, when the Museum of Contemporary Art was still housed in the Ateneum building.[i] Visitors were invited to participate in the show by deconstructing, manipulating and reorganizing the exhibits as they desired. As related by Van Ingen, the project’s goal was to use art as a vehicle for exploring interactivity – an enduring topic of interest for online artists ever since the inception of the genre.[ii]

[i] The exhibition, ‘Re-evolution’, was listed in the Finnish National Gallery’s programme for 1995 as ‘an art exhibition staged in the Internet’. http://www.hel.fi/hel2/kanslia/historia/Hgin_wwwsivut_1995/matkailu/taidmu/valtaid.html

[ii] Juha van Ingen’s email correspondence with the author, 5.9.2016.

Featured image: Tuomo Rainio: Untitled (Gravitation Waves), 2017
online art work, Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Commission

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Portraits of Finnish Artists. Stories of Finnish Art Collections Exhibition at the Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen

Retelling the Stories of Finnish Art

Gill Crabbe, FNG Research

A year on from the opening of ‘Stories of Finnish Art’, the collections exhibition at the Ateneum Art Museum, Director Susanna Pettersson reflects on how her team went about reinterpreting an art-historical narrative by means of collections display, while designer Marcel Schmalgemeijer explains his innovative approach to the visual presentation of the show

In 2014, when Susanna Pettersson became Director of Helsinki’s Ateneum Art Museum – one of the three museums of the Finnish National Gallery – the elegant Neo-Renaissance building was in the throes of renovation, with its permanent collections squeezed into just three rooms on the ground floor. Pettersson’s appointment was not only timely, but she was also well placed to effect a radical change in reworking the collections display, not only as someone with tailormade academic credentials – she did her PhD on the museum’s collections history – but also as a joint professor of museology with her finger sensitively on the pulse of trends in the field.

‘The building and how it works was very familiar to me,’ says Pettersson, ‘from the time that it started out in October 1888, as well as how the spaces have been used at different times. The collection, which covers the period 1809–1970, is the heart of the Ateneum, so for me it was clear that we needed to move the collections to the ground and first floors and temporary exhibitions to the second floor and I started the process of collecting a core team to discuss this.’ The team Pettersson was working with were looking for new ways to interpret the collection and new approaches to the collections research.

From the vision that resulted in the ‘Stories of Finnish Art’ exhibition that opened in 2016 (continuing through to 2020), two things stand out in the way that Pettersson marshalled these resources. First, she set about cultivating an environment of thinking outside the box, or as she puts it, ‘curiosity as a driver’, and secondly she inspired an unusually wide range of expertise to participate fully in the process.

The usual scenario for an exhibitions team would include a curator or two, designer, someone taking care of the educational side, another handling texts and catalogue, plus core technicians. Pettersson decided instead to gather the ‘largest possible team around the table’ comprising staff from all departments, including front-of-house staff, guides, gallery attendants, technicians, educational staff, research expertise, curators – ‘everyone who had in-house experience, such as visitor experience and how people use the collections and what they do and don’t appreciate.’

The range of expertise Pettersson has drawn on reveals much about her human values. ‘I wanted to discuss how we set up the story with the entire team and that was wonderful process because it also created a sense of ownership by everyone, and we could show each other how much we know about the collection from various perspectives which are not taken for granted. For example, the lived-in experience of someone who has been working as a gallery attendant for the past 20 years is so valuable – they have information that none of us on the curatorial side could ever dream of possessing in the same way.’

Such wide consultation did indeed bring with it some surprises. ‘Creating the story included lots of ideas that needed to be tested and at the end of the day we really had to kill lots of darlings,’ says Pettersson. ‘For example, originally we had the idea of building an entire wall celebrating the history of Finnish female painters and sculptors, but then our guides said that’s not a good idea. One of the arguments was that if we separate the Finnish female painters from the rest of the story it can be regarded as some sort of arrogant gesture. We then decided not to go in that direction and instead we integrated the women artists into the entire exhibition in order to reflect how things were in society at the time.’

Featured image: Portraits of Finnish Artists. ‘Stories of Finnish Art’ collections exhibition at the Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen

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Caesar van Everdingen (1616/17-1678): Young Woman in a Broad-Brimmed Hat, c. 1645-1650. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Article: Caesar van Everdingen: a Dutch and Finnish Collaboration on 17th-Century Painting

Gill Crabbe, FNG Research

As an important new exhibition on an unsung hero of the Dutch Golden Age travels to Helsinki’s Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Gill Crabbe meets the Dutch curator Christi Klinkert who has been pioneering the artist’s rediscovery

The Sinebrychoff Art Museum in Helsinki is fortunate to hold a small cluster of Dutch Old Master paintings in its collection, including Monk Reading (1661) by Rembrandt, Young Woman with a Glass of Wine, Holding a Letter in her Hand (c. 1665) by Gerard ter Borch, Joseph’s Bloody Coat (1655) by Govaert Flinck, and Still Life (1637) by Willem Claesz Heda to mention a few examples. Part of the Dutch masters collection is shown on a regular basis.

While art historians specialising in the Dutch Golden Age have traditionally focused on exhibitions by the great masters like Rembrandt, Hals and Vermeer, research trends in the past 15 years in the Netherlands have opened up broader perspectives on this extraordinary period in its nation’s art history, bringing to light new names and artists whose contributions are worthy of attention. This kind of development is where the collaboration between research professionals and art-museum professionals can bear abundant fruit.

One such artist who has recently been under the spotlight is the Dutch Classicist painter Caesar van Everdingen, who last year was the subject of an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar, which was the artist’s home town in the Netherlands. The show travels to the Sinebrychoff Art Museum in February 2017, which is something of a coup for the Sinebrychoff, as the exhibition is in fact the first monographic show of the artist to be mounted in 400 years, and thus introduces to the public a master painter who has hitherto been largely marginalised. So how did this collaboration come about?

In 2014, Dr Kirsi Eskelinen, Director of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum, attended a conference of CODART, the worldwide network of curators of Dutch and Flemish art, where Dr Christi Klinkert, the Alkmaar museum’s Curator and the then Director Lidewij de Koekkoek, announced plans to mount an Everdingen show and suggested it could travel to a second venue. Eskelinen was one of several museum directors to show an interest. The Dutch and Finnish colleagues met the following year and found they were kindred spirits, having a strong commitment to research-based exhibitions with an emphasis on conservation. ‘Our museum was looking for an equal partner, not necessarily the biggest museum, but one with ambition,’ says Klinkert. ‘I think it will be good to see van Everdingen reaching beyond the mainland European countries like France or Germany and instead travelling to a country where perhaps you would least expect to find it. Yet I think that the quiet coolness of the paintings will strike a chord with the Finnish public.’

While van Everdingen may be an unfamiliar face on the scene in both countries, Klinkert points out that the time is ripe for the public to be introduced to a broader perspective on Dutch Golden Age painting: ‘After many decades of exhibitions on the canonised Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, the Dutch Classicist style has become an increasing area of interest to researchers. The first large-scale exhibition focusing on that style was the Dutch Classicism show in 1999 at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, which travelled in 2000 to the Städelische Kunstinstitut Frankfurt. At that show van Everdingen was represented by 14 paintings, with the catalogue text suggesting the artist deserved a solo exhibition at some time in the future.’

Featured image: Caesar van Everdingen (1616/171678): Young Woman in a Broad-Brimmed Hat, c. 16501660. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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‘Painting Beauty − Caesar van Everdingen’, a lecture by Dr Christi M. Klinkert, Curator, Stedelijk Museum, Alkmaar, Netherlands, takes place on February 16, 2017, at 6 pm, at Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Helsinki

Wäinö Aaltonen, Jean Sibelius, 1935, marble, ht. 70 cm Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen

Article: From a Young Genius to a Monument

Riitta Ojanperä, PhD, Director, Collections Management, Finnish National Gallery

First published in Hanna-Leena Paloposki (ed.), Sibelius and the World of Art. Ateneum Publications Vol. 70. Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, 2014, 13─61.

We all know what the composer Jean Sibelius looks like. He is elderly, with penetrating eyes, his mouth closed in a stern line. He is bald and – if we can see more than his face – he sits in an armchair and smokes a cigar. The image is very much a cliché. It is also quite possible that this is no longer the figure many Finns see in their minds – the prevalence of such images is very much bound to culture and generation. It is nevertheless quite likely that such an image of Sibelius is shared by those of us who were born before the 1970s, who received a school education founded on early 20th-century unified culture – our minds imprinted not only with the image of the stern national composer, but also with the Finlandia Hymn and the Song of the Athenians – and who in primary school groped for the notes of Andante Festivo in the ranks of the school orchestra.

The assumption of a widely held visual image requires at least that we know who Sibelius is. The composer has been on the list of the most famous Finns for decades, although the basis of his recognition is undoubtedly different in Finland than elsewhere. In Finland, Sibelius’s peers have comprised both the most prominent statesmen and the most prestigious representatives of art and culture. The Finnish adage ‘Sibelius, sauna and sisu’ carries the name of Sibelius everywhere that the deepest perceived values and everyday experiences of Finnishness are discussed.[1]

The popular recognition of Sibelius shows no sign of declining. In 2013, the Finnish Cultural Foundation conducted an extensive Gallup poll on the kind of art Finns find appealing.[2] The result shows that the appreciation of Sibelius is virtually unrivalled, insofar as age, education and domicile in Finland made hardly any difference in the overall positive result.[3] The survey suggests that while traditional cultural heavyweights remain strong, the top four – Jean Sibelius, Tove Jansson, Väinö Linna and Juice Leskinen – encompass a wide spectrum of artforms and artist’s ages.[4]

[1] ‘Sibelius, sauna and sisu’ is used as an idiomatic compound. Its reference is to the cultural determination of Finnish identity, sometimes used ironically. Examples: in popular culture, the chart hit of the Kivikasvot ensemble entitled Made in Finland (Tankeros love) 1975; in an academic context, the title of a seminar ‘Sibelius, sauna ja sisu! Suomen maakuvan historiaa’ (‘Sibelius, sauna and sisu! History of the Finnish national image’), University of Helsinki 16 April 2009, or the title of a thesis Sauna, sisu ja Sibelius. Jean Sibeliuksen konstruoidun säveltäjäkuvan muodostuminen musiikkikirjallisuudessa (‘Sauna, sisu and Sibelius. The formation of the constructed image of Jean Sibelius in music literature’), Lantto 2013.

[2] Study commissioned by the Finnish Cultural Foundation Suomalaisten näkemykset kulttuurista. Vaikuttuneisuus taiteilijoista ja tyylisuunnista (‘Finnish Views on and Engagement in Culture and the Arts’). The survey questions related to 32 pre-selected artists.

[3] Suomalaisten näkemykset kulttuurista. Vaikuttuneisuus taiteilijoista ja tyylisuunnista, 35.

[4] Press release of the Finnish Cultural Foundation 2013: ‘Tutkimus: Tunnetuimmat taiteilijamme ovat Jean Sibelius, Tove Jansson, Väinö Linna ja Juice Leskinen’ (‘Study shows our most famous artists are Jean Sibelius, Tove Jansson, Väinö Linna and Juice Leskinen’).

Featured image: Wäinö Aaltonen, Jean Sibelius, 1935, marble, ht. 70cm
Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen

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Ellen Thesleff, Violin Player, 1896, oil on canvas, 40 x 44 cm Ahlström Collection, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jukka Romu

Article: Correspondences – Jean Sibelius in a Forest of Image and Myth

Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff, PhD, Chief Curator, Finnish National Gallery,
Ateneum Art Museum

First published in Hanna-Leena Paloposki (ed.), Sibelius and the World of Art. Ateneum Publications Vol. 70. Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, 2014, 81–127.

Thanks to his friends in the arts the idea of a young Jean Sibelius who was the composer-genius of his age developed rapidly. The figure that was created was emphatically anguished, reflective and profound. On the other hand, pictures of Sibelius show us a fashionable, reckless and modern international bohemian, whose personality inspired artists to create cartoons and caricatures. Among his many portraitists were the young Akseli Gallen-Kallela[1]  and the more experienced Albert Edelfelt. They tended to emphasise Sibelius’s high forehead, assertive hair and piercing eyes, as if calling attention to how this charismatic person created compositions in his head and then wrote them down, in their entirety, as the score.

Such an image of Sibelius largely conforms to the notion of the artists’ spirituality in late-19th-century art theory: artists were seen as special individuals endowed with the ability to achieve greatness and explore inner worlds. The idea was brewing in the international art world that artists were free, heroic individuals detached from everything mundane and trivial.[2] The importance of Sibelius for Finnish art of the 1890s is also accentuated by the fact that, according to the symbolist theory of art, music, being ‘immaterial’, was the highest form of art. Sibelius’s synaesthetic propensity to perceive colours and sounds together was also seen as a sign of a true artist.[3]

This essay examines Jean Sibelius through the visual art of his day, with a view to discovering how his image was fashioned to correspond to international ideas of art prevalent in the 1890s. It also highlights the way his music influenced the artists around him and their work. On the other hand, it is also obvious that Sibelius drew on influences from contemporary art for his own work as a composer. He was in constant contact with artists and surrounded himself at his home in Ainola with artworks that he both purchased and received as gifts.[4] This fruitful and complex interaction played a central role at a turning point in Finnish art and culture at the beginning of the 20th century, when the art world was undergoing an innovative period of new contacts and internationality.

I am so happy to be able to view paintings in Munich and in particular those of [Franz von] Stuck that Erik [Eero Järnefelt] has pictures of. I will now surely save [money] so that before returning home I will get to Italy – to Venezia. (……) I will take a ‘gallery’ at the opera. I will sit there in my shirtsleeves and enjoy. I am now fully restored to my old self. I will have to try to get out a little every year. Then I will be as I used to be.[5]

International modern art provided links to literature, poetry, music, nationalism and science. The age favoured artists such as Sibelius who might be described as a patriotic cosmopolitan. There was a duality in his work; he was both national and international. Sibelius travelled outside Finland 41 times in all, and throughout his active career he went abroad on average once a year.[6] These travels were also a necessity for the composer, who publicised his music by conducting it with different orchestras. At the same time, he also spent a great deal of time engaging with contemporary art. Travelling nourished inspiration and Sibelius worked on his second symphony in Italy, in Rapallo, on his third in Paris, and on Tapiola in Rome. It is characteristic that, by his own admission, he worked best either in the peace and quiet of the countryside or in a hotel room in the city. This productive dualism is common to many visual artists, too. Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Sibelius’s brother-in-law Eero Järnefelt, as well as Pekka Halonen, all found directions for their art in both urban Paris and the silence of the forest. The clear references in Sibelius’s music to the mythic world of the Kalevala, to the forces of nature, to the animal kingdom and turn-of-the-century fantasy all contributed to the image of a contemporary composer who was as much at home as a flâneur in Vienna, Berlin and Paris as he was trekking in vast forests or seeking inspiration among the Koli hills.

[1] Axel Gallén (1865–1930), this form of name until 1907.

[2] Alongside Realism and Naturalism, the literary movement known as Nietzscheism also developed on the international art scene. In his lectures on Nietzsche in 1888, the Danish writer Georg Brandes disseminated the new philosophy among Scandinavians. Another important influence was the Swedish writer, critic and artist August Strindberg, who had entered his ‘Nietzsche period’. The philosophy, with its mythical culture of superman and mysticism, left its imprint also on Finnish art of the 1880s. The first version of Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s On the Road to Tuonela (1888) portrays a heroic man, a free individual, who is liberated from all that is mundane and ordinary. Sarajas-Korte 1989, 239.

[3] Synaesthesia refers to the neurological condition in which the senses intermingle. A sensory stimulus results in a perception belonging to some other sense. A person suffering from synaesthesia may see sounds as colours or taste phonemes. The most common form of synaesthesia is so-called colour hearing, which became activated in Sibelius when he saw colours. For further information on colours and synaesthesia, see Arnkill 2007.

[4] On the art works in Ainola, see Hälikkä 2014b, 168–171.

[5] Franz von Stuck was a leading Symbolist artist in Germany and later a teacher of Wassily Kandinsky. Jean Sibelius to Aino Sibelius, Bayreuth 23 July 1894. Talas 2003, 52.

[6] The young Jean Sibelius had his first contact with urban life when, with his sister Linda and his aunt Evelina, he moved from Hämeenlinna to Helsinki in summer 1885. Sibelius’s financial worries made him enter, in his father’s footsteps, the medical faculty of the Imperial Alexander University, but he soon switched to law. He was already irregularly attending the new Music Institute at this time. From the outset he had his mind set on a career as a celebrated violinist. Goss 2009, 64, 67.

Featured image: Ellen Thesleff, Violin Player, 1896, oil on canvas, 40 x 44cm
Ahlström Collection, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jukka Romu

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Article from a Shanghai newspaper in Chinese on the occasion of Jean Sibelius’s 70th birthday in late 1935. Archive of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Ainur Nasretdin

Article: The Nation of Sibelius – Sibelius and the Construction of the Finnish National Identity Abroad in the Early Decades of Finnish Independence

Hanna-Leena Paloposki, PhD, Chief Curator, Archive and Library Manager,
Finnish National Gallery

First published in Hanna-Leena Paloposki (ed.), Sibelius and the World of Art. Ateneum Publications Vol. 70. Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery, Ateneum Art Museum, 2014, 211–229.

Promoting Finland Abroad

After gaining its independence in 1917, Finland began establishing contacts with other countries and to make itself known internationally. Finland wanted to portray itself as a solid, independent Western state and an internally unified nation. Culture played an important role in the construction of the country’s image. As the evening newspaper Iltalehti observed in 1927, Finland had to make itself known abroad for more reasons than that we ‘run fast and make good butter and excellent pulp.’ According to the paper, Finland also had great theatre, first-class music and vibrant literature and art.[1]

From the start, the task of promoting Finland internationally fell to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, established in 1918, and Finnish diplomatic missions played an important role in this. The visibility of the country, the dissemination of information about and events associated with Finland were constant topics in the press summaries, reports and reviews supplied by Finnish embassies to the ministry, as well as in news wires sent to Finnish papers.[2] Aside from the authorities, many institutions, societies and private individuals contributed to the cultural exports of Finland.

In this essay, I discuss the ways in which Jean Sibelius and his music were used in official promotion during the first decades after Finnish independence. I will focus on the activities of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finnish diplomatic missions,[3] particularly in relation to two topics: Sibelius’s 70th birthday celebrations in 1935, and Sibelius and the construction of the image of Finland in Italy.

[1] Järjestelmä tarpeen. Iltalehti 26 February 1927.

[2] Information on the promotion of Finland can be found in the archives of the Foreign Ministry as well as Finnish diplomatic missions. The former contain a section dedicated to this matter. Historians Pekka Lähteenkorva and Jussi Pekkarinen discuss the matter in Ikuisen poudan maa. Virallinen Suomi-kuva 1918–1945 (2004) specifically based on archive material and from the perspective of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. However, the section on Sibelius is rather short in the book. The sequel, Idän etuvartio? Suomi-kuva 1945–1981, was published in 2008 (Helsinki: WSOY).

[3]  In this essay, I do not discuss Sibelius’s own relations abroad, his own views of his role in the promotion of Finland, or the issue of the possible ‘Finnishness’ of Sibelius’s music.

Featured image: Article from a Shanghai newspaper in Chinese on the occasion of Jean Sibelius’s 70th birthday in late 1935. Archive of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Ainur Nasretdin

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