Kuopio Art Museum’s Human Images exhibition showcases rarely seen works of art from the collections of private fine arts foundations

Kuopio Art Museum
Press release
Free for publication 2 December 2021

An exhibition of rarely seen works of art from the collections of private fine arts foundations will open on 4 December 2021 at Kuopio Art Museum. The exhibition examines how artists have depicted people in Finnish art from the 1860s to the modern day, from Ferdinand von Wright to Elina Brotherus. The Human Images exhibition is held in collaboration with the Association of Finnish Fine Arts Foundations, Suomalaiset taidesäätiöt ry.

The depiction of people is a timeless theme in art. Perspectives of how people have been portrayed in art in various periods illustrate how society and attitudes have changed and how art has developed. The exhibition offers the opportunity to reflect on the prevailing concepts of the individual as a member of society and in relation to themselves, other people, and their living environment.

Changes in how people were depicted can be seen in the presented works

Towards the end of the 19th century, the methods of portraying people moved from idealistic romanticist depictions to the impressionist style of capturing transient moments. Some examples are Ferdinand von Wright’s precisely painted landscapes with people juxtaposed against the fresh paintings of Ellen Thesleff and A.W.Finch.

Industrialisation and modern movements in art introduced a new tradition with urban imagery. Unto Pusa’s and Göstä Diehl’s deconstructed shapes in paintings that examine the urban environment display the artists’ interest in abstract art. Personal themes are highlighted in the modern art of Elina Brotherus, Susanna Majuri, Kimmo Schroderus, Joel Slotte and Viggo Wallensköld, which delve into the individual’s experiences and issues surrounding selfhood.

The 10 members of the Association of Finnish Fine Arts Foundations

The Association of Finnish Fine Arts Foundations’ members are the Alfred Kordelin Foundation, the Fortum Art Foundation, the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation, the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, the OP Art Foundation, the Pro Artibus Foundation, Art Foundation Merita, the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation, the Åbo Akademi University Foundation, and the Lönnström Art Museum. The exhibition contains almost 70 works of art from the collections of private fine arts foundations.

The Association of Finnish Fine Arts Foundations aims to promote and increase awareness of the fine arts, to act in the interest of practicing the arts, and to promote research into art history.

The Human Images exhibition is open at the Kuopio Art Museum until 8 May 2022. The exhibition is curated by Kuopio Art Museum’s curator Marja Louni.

Tours of the exhibition are held at 2:00pm on Sundays from 16 January – 8 May 2022 and 15-minute art sessions are held on Wednesdays from 12 January – 4 May 2022 at 1:00pm.

Photo: Väinö Blomstedt: Archipelago Lanscape, 1910’s / UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation.

Further information is available from:

Kuopio Art Museum
Curator Marja Louni
+358 (0)44 718 2639


Merita Art Foundation
Director Anu Kehusmaa
+358 (0)41 437 7566