FNG Research is the online magazine of the Finnish National Gallery. This online publication aims to promote the research activities of the Gallery, research being a part of its core functions. The Finnish National Gallery consists of three museums – the Ateneum Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the Sinebrychoff Art Museum – and the Department for Collections Management. FNG Research is a magazine for art-museum and art-history professionals internationally. The site is updated bi-monthly with new developments and content.
Kirsi Eskelinen, PhD, Museum Director, Sinebrychoff Art Museum
July 14, 2016
The renowned art collector Paul Sinebrychoff had a special interest in portraits. He also gathered a rare collection of miniatures which, in his own time in the late 19th century, was the largest collection in Northern Europe. The collection includes about 400 pieces and is still the most important collection in Finland.
About 15 years ago, the miniatures were studied and conservation work was then carried out on them as part of a thorough renewal and restoration of the museum building of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum on Bulevardi in Helsinki. However, as is the case with every part of the collection, they need to be taken care of on a continuous basis. Now, the miniatures are being treated again. There are only a few specialists in miniature painting conservation. Dr. Bernd Pappe, who is interviewed in this issue, is a world-renowned specialist in this field, as well as an art historian. He reveals the painstaking work behind the scenes.
During the past two years special effort has been put into developing the access to the art works in Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff’s house museum. It is an essential part of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum’s new strategy to engage our audiences and generate a new kind of dialogue and encounter with the art works in the milieu of the collector’s home, which is a unique example of its kind in Finland. When visiting our website you can already have a virtual tour of the house museum or make acquaintance with Paul Sinebrychoff’s favourite portraits – his friends as he used to call them – hanging in his study.
Museum curator Reetta Kuojärvi-Närhi has studied the miniature collection. She is currently leading a project on the miniatures, which enables us to present them with a digital platform to make them more accessible and even more enjoyable and exciting to the general public.
Featured image: Giovanni Domenico Bossi, Portrait of a Lady, undated, watercolour and gouache on ivory, 6,3cm x 6,3cm, Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff Collection, Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen
Saara Hacklin, PhD, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
This article was recently published in Stedelijk Studies, Issue No. 4/2016, and is based on a paper Hacklin presented at the conference Between the Discursive and the Immersive: Research in the 21st Century Art Museum, 3–4 December, 2015, co-organised by the Louisiana Museum in Humblebaeck, the University of Aarhus, and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Hacklin presents as a case study the collection exhibition shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in 2016.
Featured image: Saarikoski, Hanna, See Paris and Die, 2012, a still from an HD video 16:9, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finnish National Gallery
Riitta Ojanperä, PhD, Director, Collections Management, Finnish National Gallery
May 26, 2016
Since the coming of Foucault and his contemporary poststructuralist theorists, the epistemological conception of knowledge has not been the same. The cultural positions of categories and subjects of knowledge and the formation of historical narratives have made institutions like museums more aware of their historiographic status. A significant interest in archives both as physical entities and as metaphors of understanding or controlling the world has manifested in contemporary artworks, as well as providing a focus for art-historical research questions.
The Finnish National Gallery’s archival collections have offered research material for art and art history discourse since the late 19th century, when the collecting and preserving of artists’ letters, among other archival objects, first began.
In March 2016 the Ateneum Art Museum of the Finnish National Gallery opened a new collections display, ‘Stories of Finnish Art’, which, together with the artworks, showcases the richness of archival materials from the collections. The display reveals the archives’ multifaceted nature as sources for art history, as historical reminiscences and as aesthetic inspiration for exhibition design.
A praiseworthy amount of labour and confidence in providing future generations with the ingredients of knowledge has been invested in indexing press clippings since the early 1890s. We are now happy to share, in digital form, the information content and nostalgic beauty of hand-written index cards in our archives, containing data on press articles or news items on more than 24,000 artists.
Featured image: An index card of archival material relating to Akseli Gallén-Kallela now available in digital format.
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
Hanna-Leena Paloposki, PhD, Archive and Library Manager, Finnish National Gallery
January 25, 2016
Research is carried out in many ways at the Finnish National Gallery. Exhibitions, different kinds of publications – including this FNG Research online magazine – and articles are the most visible results. But our collections are studied in many other ways, too. An excellent example of the latter is the panel workshop for conservators that was recently organised at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum, during which several paintings on panel were studied and conserved. An article on it is published in this issue.
The Finnish National Gallery has an important role in enabling research to be undertaken by those outside the organisation, too. Our collections function as subjects for study and as important source material for students and academics, for other museums preparing exhibitions and publications, and to private researchers and others, too.
Now FNG Research is opening a platform for new peer-reviewed scientific articles. We welcome papers in English studying the collections, history or activities of the Finnish National Gallery or its predecessors. This includes a wide range of different kinds of possible research fields and subjects, taking into consideration that our collections stretch from international Old Master paintings to contemporary art and archive collections, and that the activities range from exhibitions to conservation, documentation and public programmes.
We are eagerly looking forward to international collaboration in discovering new approaches, findings, results and points of view through our web magazine.
The guidelines for offering the submissions and the description of the peer-review process are to be found at the section ‘About FNG Research’ or click the link below.
Featured image: Artist Hugo Simberg’s postcard to his twin brother Paul, Tiflis (Tbilisi) July, 15th, 1899. Hugo Simberg Archive. Archive Collections, Finnish National Gallery.
In connection with the exhibition ‘Japanomania in the Nordic Countries 1875-1918’ (18 Feb-15 May), the Ateneum Art Museum organised an international conference on 19 February, 2016.
Featured image: Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Wild Angelica, 1889, oil on canvas, 103cm x 56cm, August and Lydia Keirkner Fine Arts Collection, Ateneum Art Museum.
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen
Riitta Ojanperä, PhD, Director, Collections Management, Finnish National Gallery
July 15, 2015
Welcome to the first issue of FNG Research web magazine!
Interest in the Finnish National Gallery’s collections and an awareness of their specific quality has been long established in the professional sphere of art history. Important loans from these collections, together with the Finnish National Gallery’s own progressive exhibitions policy, have enabled growing audiences in various parts of the world to explore its gems.
The research interests and activities that are shared between experts working in the Finnish National Gallery and their colleagues internationally, both in museums and academia, result in vivid curatorial collaborations, international conferences and seminars, as well as publications in several languages. By launching the FNG Research web magazine the Finnish National Gallery wishes to amplify the accessibility of its research practices, facilitate professional networking and encourage international exchange around the questions of art history, cultural history and museum studies, raised in the context of its rich Finnish and international collections.
Featured image: Interior of the Finnish pavilion at the Paris World Fair 1900. The pavilion was designed by the young Finnish architects Armas Lindgren, Herman Gesellius and Eliel Saarinen. Works on display in the pavilion were commissioned from the most prominent Finnish artists. Today many of them belong to the Finnish National Gallery art collection. Paris was the meeting point for artists and revivalist ideas all over Europe. Photo: Archive Collections / Finnish National Gallery