Exhibition in Kotka this summer: Under the Wings of the Grip, Kymenlaakso Museum, 15.5.2024–15.9.2024


This summer, it’s worth heading to Kotka and the Kymenlaakso Museum! The “Under the Wings of the Grip” exhibition offers an opportunity to explore rarely exhibited art from the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation’s collection.

Forests are an essential part of our national culture. The forest industry has long served as a patron of the arts and culture, and in Kymenlaakso, it has also greatly influenced the built cultural environment. The artworks in the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation’s art collection illuminate the significance of forests and the industrial history of Kymenlaakso.

Landscapes depicted in the spirit of national romantic Karelianism include works by artists such as Eero Järnefelt, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, and Pekka Halonen. In the late 1800s, signs of technical and economic progress were also added to landscapes, such as road networks or ships, log-floating routes with log bundles, and rapids suitable for electricity production. Industrial and natural landscapes of the Kymi factory were immortalized by artists like Verner Thomé and Victor Westerholm. The exhibition also features several graphic works by Hugo Simberg depicting paper machines, pulp digesters, and power plants.

The UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation preserves the cultural heritage of Finnish forest industry. The foundation’s art collection includes artistically and nationally significant works whose ownership has been transferred to UPM-Kymmene’s predecessor companies over more than a hundred years (including Kymi, United Paper Mills, Rauma-Repola, Schauman, Kajaani, and Kaukas). The art collection came into the possession of the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation in 2006.

The exhibition is named after the corporate emblem that won the design competition organized by Kymiyhtiö in 1899 and is still in use by UPM. Designed by Hugo Simberg, the emblem features the mythical golden eagle, half eagle and half lion.