Joseph Alanen, Lemminkäinen and the Cowherd, 1919–20, tempera on canvas, 50cm x 64cm. Collection Maine Wartiovaara née Alanen, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen

Editorial: European Revivals Ten Years On

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

 

20 January 2020

 

Dear Readers,

As we enter a new decade, the FNG Research magazine is proud to launch a special collection of art-historical articles under the title European Revivals. From Dreams of a Nation to Places of Transnational Exchange. Released to coincide with an international conference this month, this publication marks the culmination of the ‘European Revivals’ research project and its accompanying series of six international conferences inaugurated in Helsinki in 2009 with subsequent conferences held also in Oslo, Krakow and Edinburgh.

On this occasion the Finnish National Gallery extends its warmest thanks to all those individuals and organisations who have taken part in and committed to realising the vision for the ‘European Revivals’ project and its research publication. Working together with our colleagues and international collaborators on both an intellectual and a practical level has been most interesting and inspiring.

The reason behind the project was to stimulate debate and reflect upon the phenomena surrounding European national revivals by bringing together and analysing the multifarious connections and correspondences that have helped to shape the identities of modern European nations. In 2009, the question of national revivalist discourses in art and art-historical research was a topical subject at the Finnish National Gallery, which had just opened a comprehensive exhibition of Finnish art based on motifs from The Kalevala past and present.

Towards the end of the 19th century, European artists began to express a new and profound interest in their unique local pasts and cultural inheritances. This growing sense of national identity prompted a major flowering of debate concerning the rapidly disappearing regional cultures throughout Europe. This was a debate that was largely shaped by the desire within several countries for cultural and artistic, and ultimately social and economic, independence. It resulted in creating new art that sought modern interpretations and links with local roots. It also resulted in art-historical and cultural historical narratives in which the uniqueness of the narratives of national or local histories were emphasised.

It was clear that art-historical scholarship on the subject had been broadly established, but the ‘European Revivals’ project aimed to examine parallel phenomena from a more wide-scale international perspective. Our key interest was to look at the similarities of these narratives, rather than their differences. In the course of the project, this approach turned out to raise lively interest among art historians in both museums and across academia.

From the outset, the project aimed to work towards producing a scientific publication which would cover the most interesting topics to have emerged over the ten years of its activities. We therefore invited several scholars who had participated in European Revivals conferences to submit articles for this publication. These peer-reviewed articles have been developed from the original papers given between 2009 and 2017.

As well as publishing research articles and other information concerning the Finnish National Gallery’s research activities, we are continuing to develop our research intern programme. Each year, we recruit for a period of three months up to three, master’s-level art history students to study a chosen topic arising from material in our research archives. The aim is to publish an article based on their research process, supported and tutored by our in-house professionals.

From the applications received last year, two research interns for 2020 have been selected. Karita Kivikoski, from the University of Helsinki, is studying the artist Leena Luostarinen and her artistic output during the 1980s–90s from the point of view of the reception of her works and discourse analysis. She will be researching press clippings, interviews and exhibition catalogues related to Luostarinen and her art works in the collection of the Finnish National Gallery. Olga Korka, from the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg, is studying Ilya Repin’s years in Finland and the Finnish-Russian cultural relations based on Repin-related archival material and Repin’s art works in the collections of the Finnish National Gallery.

The call for research interns for 2021 will be launched in autumn 2020. During this year, the FNG Research magazine will be published every second month, continuing its in-depth exploration of the research interests behind the Finnish National Gallery’s three museums’ exhibition programmes. We also invite scholars to submit articles that are linked with or relevant to our extensive collections.

Wishing you all a most inspiring new decade,

Dr Riitta Ojanperä

Featured image: Joseph Alanen, Lemminkäinen and the Cowherd, 1919–20, tempera on canvas, 50cm x 64cm. Collection Maine Wartiovaara née Alanen, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen

Cover of the print version of European Revivals - From Dreams of a Nation to Places of Transnational Exchange, depicting the illustration by Akseli Gallen-Kallela for the novel, Seven Brothers, by Aleksis Kivi, 1907, watercolour and pencil, 23.5cm x 31.5cm. Ahlström Collection, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen

European Revivals – From Dreams of a Nation to Places of Transnational Exchange

Table of Contents

Foreword

Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff and Riitta Ojanperä
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Visions of Identity, Dreams of a Nation

  • Ossian, Kalevala and Visual Art: a Scottish Perspective
    Murdo Macdonald
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  • Nationality and ­Community in ­Norwegian Art Criticism around 1900
    Tore Kirkholt
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  • Celticism, ­Internationalism and Scottish Identity: Three Key Images in Focus
    Frances Fowle
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  • Listening to the Voices: Joan of Arc as a ­Spirit-Medium in the Celtic Revival
    Michelle Foot
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Artists’ Places, Location and Meaning

  • Inventing Folk Art: ­Artists’ Colonies in ­Eastern ­Europe and their Legacy
    Marina Dmitrieva
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  • The Vernacular Revival in the Polish Tatras c. 1900: Arts, Patronage, ­Collecting and  Documentation
    Edyta Barucka
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  • Önningeby and Skagen: ­Investigating Two Artists’ ­Colonies with Social Network Analysis
    Anna-Maria Wiljanen
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  • Constructing ­Mythologies of the Germanen in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-­century Germany
    Iain Boyd Whyte
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Concepts for Revival Movement

  • From Nostalgia to Where…? National Romanticism, Esotericism, and the ‘Golden Age of Finnish Art’
    Marja Lahelma
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  • The Artist’s House: ­Symbolism and Utopia
    Laura Gutman
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  • Visions of History: ­Gerhard Munthe’s Rhythm and Revival in fin-de-siècle Norway
    Tonje H. Sørensen
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  • Craft, Ornament and its Meaning in Finnish ­Architecture around 1900
    Charlotte Ashby
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  • Encounters between Art and Folk Art around 1900 in Norway: Gerhard Munthe, Theodor ­Kittelsen and ­Frida Hansen
    Vibeke Waallann Hansen
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Featured image: Cover of the print version of European Revivals – From Dreams of a Nation to Places of Transnational Exchange. On the cover: Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Illustration for the novel, Seven Brothers, by Aleksis Kivi, 1907, watercolour and pencil, 23.5cm x 31.5cm. Ahlström Collection, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen

Read more — Download ‘European Revivals – From Dreams of a Nation to Places of Transnational Exchange’ (ISBN 978-952-7371-09-1) as a PDF

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(best for narrow, e.g. mobile displays, or for continuous flow reading within a browser)

Download the complete book as a PDF (print version) >>
(best for viewing on displays large enough and supporting viewing the document by spreads, or for creating double-sided printouts)

Tyko Sallinen, Barn Dance, 1918, oil on canvas, 114.5cm x 138cm. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Antti Kuivalainen

Conferences: [no title] NORDIK XII 2018, Copenhagen 24–27 October 2018

Conference Session: Art, Artists and Art Institutions in Times of War and Conflicts

Hanna-Leena Paloposki, PhD, Senior Researcher, Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki

The Nordic Association of Art Historians (NORDIK) organises an academic conference every three years. In 2015 the conference was held in Reykjavik and this year it took place in Copenhagen at the University of Copenhagen. Three keynote lectures and 18 sessions were held during the three conference days.

I co-managed a two-part session, ‘Art, Artists and Art Institutions in Times of War and Conflicts’, along with Maija Koskinen (University of Helsinki). The theme originates from our research interests. Maija Koskinen is due to defend her doctoral thesis, Artistically Regenerating and Politically Topical The exhibitions of Kunsthalle Helsinki 192868, in January 2019. The thesis examines Kunsthalle Helsinki and its impact on the Finnish art field in the context of power and politics before, during and after the Second World War. She will focus next on the Finnish art field during the Cold War. I wrote my PhD (2012) on The role of art exhibitions in Finnish-Italian relations concerning the visual arts from the 1920s to the end of the Second World War. My current research topic is Finnish art exhibitions in the 1930s in the international, political, and nationalist contexts and in promoting Finland.

Featured image: Tyko Sallinen, Barn Dance, 1918, oil on canvas, 114.5cm x 138cm. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Antti Kuivalainen

Read more — Download the description of the conference session as a PDF

Download the Description of the Conference Session as a PDF >>

 

For details of the full conference programme and abstracts, visit

https://nordikxii.dk/images/NORDIK_XII_-_Full_programme_2018.10.15_3.pdf

Akseli Gallen-Kallela, En Saga (Jean Sibelius and Fantasy Landscape), 1894, gouache and watercolour on paper, 31cm x 17cm and 24cm x 30cm. Ainola Foundation. Photo Finnish National Gallery Hannu Pakarinen

Association for Art History (AAH) Annual Conference 2018, Courtauld Institute of Art & King’s College London

5–7 April 2018, London

Here we publish the Finnish National Gallery’s contribution to the 2018 AAH Conference comprising conference abstracts from the two Finnish National Gallery delegates

Featured image: Akseli Gallen-Kallela, En Saga (Jean Sibelius and Fantasy Landscape), 1894, gouache and watercolour on paper, 31cm x 17cm and 24cm x 30cm. Ainola Foundation. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen

Between Sounding Canvas and Visual Music: from Sibelius to Kupka

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

Session: Seeing and Hearing the ‘Beyond’: Art, Music and Mysticism in the Long 19th century

Download the Conference Abstract as a PDF >>

The Nordic Art Journal: Writing New Art History

Susanna Pettersson , PhD, Director , Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki

Session: Remembering and Forgetting the Enlightenment

Download the Conference Abstract as a PDF >>

Two Conferences alongside the ‘Alvar Aalto – Art and the Modern Form’ Exhibition

Alongside the exhibition ‘Alvar Aalto – Art and the Modern Form,’ two conferences are being held at the Ateneum Art Museum.

Conference: Alvar Aalto Art and the Modern Form

24 August, 2017

Ateneum Hall
Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki

The conference will dig deeper in to the themes of the ‘Alvar Aalto – Art and the Modern Form’ exhibition. At the time of going to Press the speakers include the Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation Tommi Lindh, the Chief Curator of Vitra Design Museum Jochen Eisenbrand, and the interior architect Ben af Schultén.

The conference is held in English and Finnish. Admission is included in the museum entrance fee or with a Museum Card. Free for Friends of the Ateneum.

For full details of the programme and updates visit http://www.ateneum.fi/nayttelyt/alvar-aalto/?lang=en

Conference: Aino Marsio-Aalto as a Designer

9 September, 2017

Ateneum Hall
Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki

The conference will offer perspectives on the work of Alvar Aalto and Aino-Marsio Aalto. At the time of going to Press the speakers include the Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation Tommi Lindh, acting Professor of Art History at the University of Helsinki Renja Suominen-Kokkonen, and Chief Curator at the Alvar Aalto Museum Katariina Pakoma.

The conference is held in Finnish. Admission is included in the museum entrance fee or with a Museum Card. Free for Friends of the Ateneum.

For full details of the programme and updates visit http://www.ateneum.fi/nayttelyt/alvar-aalto/?lang=en

Conferences: Gothic Modernisms

29–30 June, 2017
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Organised by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Coventry University; the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture, in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Ateneum Art Museum / Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, and Radboud University, Nijmegen.

‘Gothic Modernisms’ will focus on the (global) legacies, histories and contested identities of Northern European Gothic/early-modern visual cultures in modernity and, in particular, on identities of modernism, including avant-gardes. It builds on two preceding, related conferences on ‘Primitive Renaissances’ (National Gallery, London, 2014) and ‘Visions of the North’ (Compton Verney Museum, Warks, UK, 2016), which have opened new scholarship on 19th- and early 20th-century responses to Northern Renaissance and early Germanic art. ‘Gothic Modernisms’ will expand this field of enquiry and its temporal scope. It explores the pivotal, yet still understudied, reception, construction and invention of Northern Gothic art and reception in the period spanning the 1880s to the 1950s, extending interest in Latin and Germanic Gothic to the ‘Nordic’ world. We term these artistic and cultural reinventions ‘gothic modernisms’.

To view more information on the Gothic Modernisms conference, registration and programme, please visit https://gothicmodernisms.wordpress.com/

Conferences: Alice Neel and Portraits in Art

24 September 2016

This conference organised by the Ateneum Art Museum / Finnish National Gallery focuses specifically on paintings by Alice Neel, a masterful portrayer of people, while also discussing portraits and self-portraits in art in general. The venue of the conference will be the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland.

To view the programme of the upcoming conference, please visit

http://www.ateneum.fi/tapahtumat/alice-neel-seminaari/?lang=en

Picture This!

Conferences: Picture This!

24–25 November 2016

This upcoming two-day international conference organised by the Finnish Museums Association, the Finnish National Gallery, and the Finnish Museum of Photography discusses the position and challenges of museums in the world of growing and changing streams of images.  The venues of the conference will be the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland.

To view the programme of the conference, please visit http://museoliitto.fi/picturethis

Fanny Churberg, Burnt Clearing, Landscape from Uusimaa, 1872, oil on canvas, 54cm x 85,5cm, Ahlström Collection, Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Yehia Eweis

Conferences: Association of Art Historians (AAH) Annual Conference 2016, Edinburgh

7–9 April 2016

Here we publish the Finnish National Gallery’s contribution to the 2016 AAH Conference comprising extended conference abstracts from the three Finnish National Gallery delegates

Featured image: Fanny Churberg, Burnt Clearing, Landscape from Uusimaa, 1872, oil on canvas, 54cm x 85,5cm, Ahlström Collection, Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Yehia Eweis

From Puffy Cumulus Clouds to the Lapping Waves of a Lake

Anne-Maria Pennonen, Curator, Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery // PhD student, University of Helsinki

Session: Air and the Visual

Download the Conference Abstract as a PDF >>

Kullervo’s Story: Mythology, National Aspiration and the Construction of a Nordic Cultural Identity and ‘Artisthood’ 

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

Session: The Idea of North: Myth-making and Identities

Download the Conference Abstract as a PDF >>

To Lend or not to Lend? Finnish Art Exhibitions Abroad in the 1930s and the Fine Arts Academy’s Loans Policy

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

Session: The Physical Circulation of Artworks and its Consequences for Art History

Download the Conference Abstract as a PDF >>

Conferences: NORDIK 2015, Reykjavik

NORDIK Becomes a Full Association

Riitta Ojanperä, Director of Collections Management, Finnish National Gallery, has been a Finnish member of the NORDIK board since 2012. Here she explains the exciting new developments that are placing NORDIK more firmly on the art-historical map

The NORDIK Committee For Art History, which has been active since 1983, has been a great example of the potential of professional networking and collaboration. The organisation of 11 triennial conferences has been based on a scholarly urge to meet the intellectual challenges of art history.

The art history departments of several universities in the Nordic countries, as well as many museum organisations, have been committed to fostering NORDIK’s goals. The network’s continuity has been assured by a functioning board with members representing both the academia and museum fields in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Nevertheless, the need to build the Committee’s future on a more solid institutional ground had been stated several years ago. This goal was accomplished when the Committee’s General Assembly met in May this year in Reykjavik, in the context of the 11th NORDIK conference, the first to have been arranged in Iceland.

At the meeting, the General Assembly accepted new regulations for the association named NORDIK (The Nordic Association of Art Historians). One basic advantage of the change from a network to a legal body in the form of an association is the opening of new practical ways for potential fundraising in the future.

The Association’s purpose and its aims, though, have not changed. It still exists to promote co-operation in the Nordic countries, to provide information, and to strengthen contacts between the Nordic and international art history communities. To fulfil its purpose it arranges the NORDIK conference. In addition to this, the new regulations state that the Association can help to arrange other conferences and symposiums, produce publications, and take initiatives that promote research and the education of scholars.

According to NORDIK’s long-established schedule, the next international conference will take place in three years time, in Copenhagen in 2018. The present chair of the Association is Dr Hlynur Helgason, from Iceland, and the chair of the next conference’s organising group is Dr. Henrik Holm from Denmark.

Featured image: Lars-Gunnar Nordström, Composition, 1952, serigraphy, 26,7cm x 44,8cm, Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jouko Könönen

For more information, please visit the NORDIK webpage http://nordicarthistory.org/ or contact the Association’s Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/804379882941687/.

 


 

NORDIK Conferences 1984–2015

1984
Nordic Art around the Turn of the Century
Helsinki, Finland

1987
Nordic Sponsors of the Arts
Gothenburg, Sweden

1990
Influence and Exchange
Ry, Denmark

1993
The Identity of Art History
Geilo, Norway

1996
Art After 1945
Turku, Finland

2000
The History of Art History
Uppsala, Sweden

2003
Exhibitions
Aarhus, Denmark

2006
Tradition and Visual Culture
Bergen, Norway

2009
Mind and Matter
Jyväskylä, Finland

2012
Presentation/Representation/Repression, The Critical Production of Display and Interpretation in Art History
Stockholm, Sweden

2015
Mapping Uncharted Territories
Reykjavik, Iceland

 


 

Professional Match-making

Interview by Gill Crabbe

The Ateneum Art Museum Director Susanna Pettersson has a close relationship with the Nordic Committee for Art History. Here she explains the vital role played by this innovative organisation

The Director of Helsinki’s Ateneum Art Museum, Susanna Pettersson, has been a guiding influence in the recent history of the Nordic Committee for Art History (NORDIK). When the Committee was first set up in Helsinki in 1984 to promote research networks between Nordic art historians, it identified its main task as organising a triennial NORDIK conference. Nine conferences and almost 30 years on, that task was entrusted to Pettersson when, as chair of the Board from 2010–12, she presided over the organisation of the 10th NORDIK conference, which took place in Stockholm in 2012.

One of the key features of NORDIK is its commitment to bring together scholars from both university and museum contexts, as historically these have been separate organisational strands in the field of art history. As Pettersson explains: ‘If you take the example of the history of the Ateneum, the key people who were Board members of the Finnish Art Society – one of the predecessors of the FNG – were art historians working at the university, so at that time they had feet in both camps. That was the situation until the Second World War.

‘However, after the War people working in the museums formed one team and those at the universities formed another, and they didn’t really communicate too much. This situation continued until the early 1980s – it was very much the case in Finland but it was also the case in other European countries, so setting up the Nordic Committee for Art History as a network brought together people from both camps.

Pettersson firmly believes that the NORDIK conference is a game-changer in bringing art historians together in this way. Among the many benefits of the conference, she identifies three key advantages.

Read More

Download the Full Article as a PDF >>

 


 

Conference Abstracts from four Finnish delegates

 

Ålandian Landscape – There’s Always a Meaning in a Seemingly Meaningless Landscape
Anna-Maria Wiljanen, PhD, Executive Director, UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation

Download the Abstract as a PDF >>

From the Blade of Grass to Musical Landscapes – Japonisme and Musicality in Nordic Art
Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff, PhD, Senior Curator, Ateneum Art Museum

Download the Abstract as a PDF >>

Tyko Sallinen and the Marginalisation of the Russian Avant-garde in his Art
Timo Huusko, PhDLic., Chief Curator, Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery

Download the Abstract as a PDF >>

Technological Utopia versus Cultural Dystopia – Discussing Peripheral Modernisms and Modern Cultural Identities in Finland after the Second World War
Riitta Ojanperä, PhD, Director, Collections Management, Finnish National Gallery

Download the Abstract as a PDF >>