Collection of the Oulu Museum of Art
The Collections of the Oulu Museum of Art consist of art from Oulu and Northern Ostrobothnia, but also of artworks from Finnish artists in general. It´s first acquisition was an oil painting by the Liminka-based painter Vilho Lampi entitled Äidin haudalla (At the Mother's Grave, 1935). Vilho Lampi's paintings of the town of Liminka near Oulu, portraits and still lives form an important part of the collection. The oldest works of the collection are the Oulu-born painter Isaac Wacklin's portraits of his brother, the merchant and alderman Zacharias Wacklin and his wife Sara Uhlbom (1755). Contemporary artists of international renown from Oulu include Marika Mäkelä and Hannu Väisänen.
In addition to Oulu, two important geographical hubs of visual art stand out from the collection: Pudasjärvi and Hailuoto. Pudasjärvi is the home to many professional artists in different fields of art, such as sculpture, painting and photography. Among them are Martti Aiha, Jussi Goman, Tapani Kokko, Esko Männikkö, Janne Räisänen and Kari Tykkyläinen. In Hailuoto, many painters live on the island around the year, while some choose to spend their summers and holidays there. Notable artists from Hailuoto include Marjatta Hanhijoki, Reijo Hukkanen, Markku Keränen, Juhani Kostet, Inka Nieminen, Lauri Rankka, Anni Rapinoja, Riikka Soininen, Leena Tuokkola and Sinikka Tuominen.
The Collections of the Oulu Museum of Art emphasise contemporary art. Thematic wholes include phenomena in visual art, artist self-portraits, naivist art and the Northern dimension. In addition to paintings, sculptures and prints, the collection includes photos, collages of items and materials, installations and media art.
Magnus von Wright, Walking Park in Oulu, 1861.
City of Oulu Collection
The City of Oulu Collection includes almost 2000 artworks. Many of them are exhibited in various public spaces and facilities of the city. In addition to paintings and other paper-based works, the collection includes public sculptures and other works obtained to public facilities under the one per cent principle.
The City of Oulu Collection was branched into a separate collection in 1976. New works are obtained into the collection every year. Acquisitions are made taking the criteria of applied art intended for public display (in terms of applicable subject-matter and mode of expression) into account. The collection covers a palette of different styles and techniques. Oulu cityscapes and natural landscapes feature prominently; the list of artists includes artists of both regional and national level. As nearby municipalities have been consolidated into the city of Oulu, some artworks from the collections of the former municipalities have been relocated to the City of Oulu Collection following Oulu Museum of Art's general acquisition principles.
Jenni Yppärilä, Ainola Park, 2015.
Heinänen Art Foundation's Collection of naivist art
The Naivist Collection of the Heinänen Art Foundation reflects the tastes of the donators, Aira and Kalevi Heinänen. The collection of 145 artworks was acquired over a period of approximately twenty years. The first acquisition was Håkan Brunberg's Sirkus (Circus) 1968. A total of 45 artists working in the naivist style are represented in the collection.
The collection is a record of the breakthrough decades of naivist art, and includes the its key artists, techniques and themes. Many of the deceased and middle-generation artists, such as Alice Kaira, Håkan Brunberg, Nikolai Lehto, Tuomas Mäntynen, Kaija-Riitta Iivonen, Pirkko Lepistö, Lea Kauppi and Viljo Mäkinen, have established reputations as pioneers of the field. The collection emphasises Finnish artists from the 1970s and the 1980s, but also features works from earlier decades. The oldest painting is Hilma Koivisto's Kukkia laineilla (Flowers on Waves, 1920) from Pukkila. Enni Idi of Padasjoki is represented by approximately 40 oil paintings depicting life in the countryside. In addition to Finnish artists, the collection includes a couple of works by international names.
An online publication entitled Hyörivä pyörivä taidekaruselli focusing on the collection is also available.
Håkan Brunberg, Rigid cabinet, 1972.
Senta Teräsalmi Collection
The Senta Teräsalmi Collection consists of nine oils and watercolours by the Liminka-based painter Vilho Lampi (1898–1936) formerly owned by Senta Teräsalmi's father, teacher Heikki Kuusinen. Vilho Lampi and Heikki Kuusinen became acquainted in Oulu, where the latter worked as an English and French teacher in the 1920s before moving to Jyväskylä. Their friendship continued through correspondence in the 1930s.
Heikki Kuusinen translated international mail, such as official letters and exhibition reviews, received by the painter. As a payment for his services he received paintings, and he also purchased a number of paintings to support the artist financially. The Senta Teräsalmi collection includes landscapes and still lives that mostly portray Liminka, a village south of Oulu. His painting Viljamakasiini (Granary), completed in 1929, portrays the town's famous collective granary in the sunshine of an autumn afternoon. Vilho Lampi painted the views of Liminka from various perspectives in the 1920s and 1930s. He usually worked in or near the village centre. Old Liminka, the small bridges of the Liminka River and the riverside road with its buildings and gardens are recorded in his paintings.
The heirs of Senta Teräsalmi, represented by Pekka Teräsalmi, donated the Lampi paintings to the Oulu Museum of Art in 2012. The donation also included correspondence between Vilho Lampi and Heikki Kuusinen.
Vilho Lampi, The gate of province, 1930.
Sirkka Karppinen Collection
This collection is based on the bequest of Sirkka Karppinen (1913–2003), the long-time manager of Pohjan Some, a company that marketed industrial art and art handicraft items in Oulu. In 1945, Sirkka Takala married the Eino Karppinen, a successful businessman working in the construction industry. The couple, both interested in visual and industrial art, started developing Pohjan Some together. Armi Ratia established Marimekko in 1951, and Pohjan Some was Marimekko's first retailer in North Finland. They soon expanded to other Finnish brands, such as Aarikka, Kalevala Jewelry, Nuutajärvi and Arabia.
The Sirkka Karppinen Collection primarily consists of paintings and drawings. Artists from Oulu and Northern Ostrobothnia feature prominently, including self-portraits of Åke Mattas (1948), Martti Mäki (1985) and Tauno Ohenoja (1980) executed in different styles. In addition to portraits, the collection features landscapes, such as Oulu cityscapes painted by Juho Mäkelä and Paavo Leinonen. The oldest painting of the collection is Eero Nelimarkka's Kilpisjärvi (1917).
Paavo Leinonen, Re-builders, 1950-luku.
Airi and Teuvo Saarinen Collection
Oulu Museum of Art holds numerous collections named after their donators. The Bequest of Airi and Teuvo Saarinen consisting of 51 artworks was received in 1988. The collection includes paintings, drawings and prints obtained by the couple to their home over approximately three decades. Some of the works were inherited by Airi Saarinen from her childhood home and from her relatives. The couple's first artwork was Urho Lehtinen's painting Jyväsjärven rantaa (Shores of Lake Jyväsjärvi, 1941), which they received as their wedding gift in 1945.
Airi Saarinen's birthplace is in Tourula near Jyväskylä, which explains the couple's interest in visual art and artists from the region of Central Finland, such as Hanne Autere, Jonas Heiska and Feliks Ojanen. The couple moved to Oulu in 1950, and their culturally inclined home followed the art circles of the day closely. Some of the artworks were obtained from auctions in Helsinki. The couple collected especially the works of Oulu-born painter Werner Åström. Airi Saarinen worked as a language teacher in the Tuira Co-educational School from 1961 to 1970. One of his colleagues was the art teacher and painter Juhani Hakalahti, whose works also feature in the collection.
Hugo Simberg, Tulips, 1910.
Photo above: Juhani Hakalahti, Free moment, 1965.
Aira Hellaakoski Collection
The collection donated by the Oulu-based painter and printmaker Aira Hellaakoski (1898–1991) consists of 15 works by the artist herself – primarily watercolours and oils, but also one print and one pastel drawing. The earliest of them is Omakuva (Self-portrait, 1920) from the early part of her career. The latest of them, watercolours of flowers, are signed in 1986, when the artist was nearly 90 years old. Aira Hellaakoski was especially fond of painting bulbous flowers, such as amaryllises and lilies. She was fascinated by the primeval power hidden in the subterranean bulbs, which she portrayed in her brightly flowering paintings.
Aira Hellaakoski (formerly Helaakoski) was a poet, geographer and the sister of geography teacher Aaro Hellaakoski. In addition to her artistic work, she was an art and weaving teacher. Her studio was in the atelier house owned by Tampere Artists' Association and the city of Tampere completed in 1961 on Hällänpyöränkatu street in Kaleva neighborhood. During her career, Aira Hellaakoski created numerous public artworks to Tampere and nearby municipalities.
Aira Hellaakoski, Spring amaryllis, 1986.
Finnvera Oulu Collection
In 2015, Finnvera's Oulu office donated 44 artworks to Oulu Museum of Art due to reorganisation of the company's facilities. The collection includes works by many artists who have worked in Oulu and the surrounding region, such as Juhani Hakalahti, Reijo Hukkanen, Terttu Jurvakainen, Sanna Koivisto, Tauno Ohenoja, Paavo Tolonen and Veikko Vionoja. It also includes works by artists such as Göran Augustson, Esa Riippa and Väinö Rouvinen. In addition to paper-based prints, the collection features unique oil paintings and miniature sculptures.
The Finnvera donation complements the Collections of the Oulu Museum of Art, which emphasise works by artists from Oulu and Northern Ostrobothnia. As one if its services, the museum places artworks from its collections on display to public spaces of the city. The Finnvera Oulu Collection is part of this initiative aimed for the public good.
Terttu Jurvakainen, In the Lap of water, 1983.
The Minna-Liisa and Jouni Kostama Collection
Minna-Liisa and Jouni Kostama are art collectors from Oulu who are generously donating a collection of artworks to Oulu Art Museum. Reflecting the collectors’ tastes and personalities, the body of work is local yet international in character, comprising paintings by Oulu-based artists as well as Romantic and Realist painters and graphic artists of Germany’s Düsseldorf School.
Art has always been a significant part of Jouni Kostama’s life. His first contacts with the artworld date back to his childhood, when his grandfather Aarno and his uncle Alpo Sutinen ran a respected picture-framing shop on Isokatu Street in Oulu – where in fact Jouni Kostama made his first art acquisitions. Oulu artists add local flavour to the collection with landscapes and cityscapes by Aukusti Koivisto, a melancholy self-portrait by Olli Seppänen, an earthy, vernacular rendition of fishermen by a campfire by Martti Tarvainen, and a Cubist-inspired still life by Juhani Hakalahti. Richly detailed silk screen prints by Taruliisa Warsta were the first works forming the core of the Minna-Liisa and Jouni Kostama Collection when they first began collecting.
During his decade-long executive career in Germany, Jouni Kostama took a keen interest in Düsseldorf artists. There he acquired Continental landscapes by Alfred Holler (1888–1954) and Karl Meyer-Nieting (1900–1980) as well as a touching print by the children’s author Gustav Süs (1823–1881). Most of the collection was purchased abroad. Inspired by his passion for collecting, Jouni Kostama has recently begun painting in oils.
The Suomen Säästöpankki Collection
Of the national Collection of the Suomen Säästöpankki bank, 53 have been deposited to the Oulu Museum of Art. The works belong to a collection of 1450 artworks purchased by Government Guarantee Fund from the bank and donated to the National Gallery in 1994. A substantial part of this collection, primarily dating back to 1960s–1980s, has been deposited to the fifteen regional art museums closest to the places where the works were originally displayed.
The artworks deposited to Oulu Museum of Art are paintings, prints and sculptures. Artists featured in the collection are H. Ahtela, Göran Augustson, Juhana Blomstedt, Juhani Hakalahti, Simo Hannula, Erkki Hervo, Kari Juva, Matti Koskela, Kristian Krokfors, Ahti Lavonen, Paavo Leinonen, Matti Mikkola, Tapani Mikkonen, Eero Nelimarkka, Kirsi Neuvonen, Paul Osipow, Tapani Raittila, Ulla Rantanen, Essi Renvall, Väinö Rouvinen, Per Stenius, Kari Tervo, Aukusti Tuhka, Reijo Turunen, Carl Wargh and Veikko Vionoja.
Juhana Blomstedt, Res… , 1986.