The art collection ended up at the Cultural Foundation in 2006, when the company set up a foundation to preserve this largely accidental but ultimately valuable collection. The Foundation’s art collection includes works of both artistic and national significance. The artworks have been acquired over more than a hundred years by UPM-Kymmene’s predecessor companies (eg. Kymi, United Paper Mills, Rauma-Repola, Schauman, Kajaani and Kaukas), UPM, and lately the Foundation itself, and have decorated the company’s meeting rooms, lobbies, canteens and representative offices from Kajaani to China. By 2021, the collection comprises of more than 600 works.
The most prominent stars of the collection, which focuses on domestic art, are the renowned finnish Golden Age painters Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Albert Edelfelt, Elin Danielson-Gambogi and Helene Schjerfbeck, but the collection also includes a significant number of works and series of works that are important to the UPM Group’s industrial heritage – such as portraits of mills and their management, and illustrations of working processes – by artists such as Hugo Simberg, Eero Järnefelt, A.W. Finch and Pentti Sammallahti. The collection also includes works specially commissioned for the company’s premises.
The Foundation’s art collection also includes separate small collections, including the Mirror Image Collection of Finnish metal graphics from the 80’s, and international contemporary art from the 20th century by artists such as A. R. Penck, David Hockney, Jiri Georg Dokupil, Markus Lüpertz, Per Kirkeby and Sigmar Polke, bequeathed by the German company Haindl Papier, which joined the UPM Group in 2001. Several dozen portraits also form a significant body of work.
The UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation lends works from its collection for exhibitions, and efforts are also made to display the collection, especially at UPM’s premises in Finland. The Foundation’s mission is also to ensure that the works in the collection are preserved for future generations. Therefore, each year the Foundation contributes funds for conservation, research and proper storage. The Foundation can also acquire new works to add to the collection when the right ones come along.