De Urbe Uloa – Paintings of Oulu

Northern Ostrobothnia Museum from 28 October 2020



De Urbe Uloa – Paintings of Oulu showcases paintings from the collections of the Northern Ostrobothnia Museum. Most of the approximately 30 works have never been exhibited before.

The selection features oils, watercolours and gouaches of downtown Oulu streets and buildings, some of them still in existence, some of them gone. The paintings have been received to the museum’s collections as part of donations.

The beautiful Latin name is a reminder of Johannes Snellman’s doctoral dissertation of 1737, De Urbe Uloa, translated into Finnish by Sari Kivistö in 2000 as Oulun kaupungista (“About the City of Oulu”). Snellman’s dissertation is the first known historical work about the city. In his dissertation, Snellman explores Oulu’s history, buildings, town plan, livelihoods and trade.

The exhibition brings together items from museum collections, people, atmospheres and stories of the buildings and views seen in the paintings. Known and registered artists remain in the background, giving the stage to the lives of the amateur artists featured in the exhibition, some of whom have remained nearly unknown.

The exhibition shows how the living room suite of an Oulu family is related to Hilkka Inkala’s drawing, and why teacher Olga Slottsberg’s fire screen is shown. What about the fire bucket and the copper pot?

The exhibition also features a silver “rat tail spoon” made by Oulu silversmith Anders Bruse, who worked in Oulu from 1678 to 1683. The spoon, part of the collections of the National Museum of Finland, was found in the excavations of the Lyseo yard in 2007, and has never been displayed in public before. 

The exhibition is curated by researcher Eija Konttijärvi.

Taulu, jossa maalattuna Pokkitörmän taloja, paksut kultaiset kehykset.
Akvarellimaalaus valkoisesta talossa, jossa vihreät ykstyiskohdat.
Öljyvärimaalaus vanhasta koristeellisesta huvilasta.