The Bank of Finland’s art collection forms a unique and comprehensive work of art, in itself. This does not mean uniformity of style or acquisitions, rather it means works that tell unexpected details about Finnish art, beginning in the period of Finnish autonomy under the Russian Empire up to today.
Bank’s Head Office, designed by the Architect Ludwig Bohnstedt, has stood the test of time and met the Bank’s changing requirements, as well as surviving alterations forced on it by the scars of the Second World War, to say nothing of the large extension that was later added to it. Perhaps it is the building’s multi-sourced roots that provide even the newest pieces in the Bank’s broadly-based art collection with a secure position in this historic setting.
Discover the Bank of Finland's main building and art collection online:
The Bank of Finland Museum’s main exhibition of 2017 is How will Finland make a living in 2067? The exhibition’s multi-artistic production offers a fascinating journey into the perception of the future held by the young people of the today.
What will Finland be like in 2067? How will it earn a living? What will be valuable? What will Finnishness mean after 50 years? The students of Helsinki Upper Secondary School of Visual Arts and Vaskivuori Upper Secondary School take us forward to the world 50 years from now. The exhibition will run from 24 January to 31 December 2017.
This blog series, posted by Juha Tarkka, Adviser to the Bank’s Board and history researcher, Vappu Ikonen follows how the Bank of Finland’s activities in 1917, the year Finland gained independence, reflected what was happening in the country as a whole at that time. The Bank of Finland will also be publishing online the minutes from the meetings of the Bank’s Parliamentary Supervisory Council for 1917, timed to coincide with the dates this year, as they happened exactly 100 years ago.
Jazz musician Heikki Sarmanto played a piano solo version of his composition, inspired by the Kalevala saga at the Bank of Finland’s open-door event on 29 January 2017, as well as playing his most recent piece Kruunuhaka (named after the Kruununhaka quarter of Helsinki that the Bank of Finland is located in and, yes, written to reflect the spoken form of the name - without the middle letter n).
At the Bank’s open-door event on 30 January 2017, the pianist Maria Hämäläinen played her interpretation of some of Jean Sibelius’ music. For the first time, many pieces in the Bank’s art collection such as Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s Aino-triptych, were exhibited in combination with the music of their contemporary, Jean Sibelius. The art of the Golden Age and the era’s music have been integrated to create a musical poem compiled by pianist Erkki Korhonen.
See the piano performances below.
HEIKKI SARMANTO’S CONCERT AT THE BANK OF FINLAND
MARIA HÄMÄLÄINEN’S CONCERT AT THE BANK OF FINLAND
In the centenary year, art and music came together at the Bank of Finland, when the Bank opened its doors to the public. Visitors were able to enjoy 100-year-old Finland’s art and music over a four-day period, in the Bank’s Head Office main building.
The centenary celebrations were celebrated by showing the familiar classics such as Juho Rissanen’s stained glass windows and Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s Aino-triptych. For the first time, these works from the Bank’s art collection were exhibited in combination with the music of their contemporary, Jean Sibelius. The art of the Golden Age and the era’s music have been integrated to create a musical poem compiled by pianist Erkki Korhonen. The performances were by young talented musicians: the gifted pianists Maria Hämäläinen, Anton Mejias and Ossi Tanner. There were also performances by pianist Heikki Sarmanto, who played a piano solo from his extensive list of compositions.
The many art pieces on display during this period included works by Kari Cavén, Jukka Mäkelä, Marjatta Tapiola and Hannu Väisänen, as well as other interesting examples from the Bank’s approximately 1,200-strong collection. Altogether the exhibition, which was curated by the art specialist Markku Valkonen, included more than 100 pieces. Many members of the Bank of Finland’s art club acted as guides during the four-day period.
Experts from the Bank gave short talks and presentations on a number of topics during the exhibition on subjects ranging from Finland’s monetary policy from the 100 years of independence, to payment landscapes of the future, and challenges facing the single monetary policy of the euro area.