The Helsinki City Art Museum’s collections include all works of art acquired by the City of Helsinki since the 19th century. They currently total roughly 7500 works. The backbone of the Art Museum’s collections is formed by the some 430 works collected by art connoisseur and gallerist Leonard Bäcksbacka. The Art Museum’s building in Meilahti was originally built in 1976 to house the Bäcksbacka donation, which includes numerous treasures of Finnish art such as Ellen Thesleff’s Thyra Elisabeth (1892) and Tyko Sallinen’s Mirri (1910).

Tyko Sallinen, Mirri
Katarina and Leonard Bäcksbacka Collection, 1910, oil, 51 cm x 46 cm
Pekka Halonen, Model , 1894, Gösta Becker Collection, oil, 40 cm x 35 cm
Verner Thomé, Montyon Square, Marseille, Iris Roos-Hasselblatt Collection, 1909, oil, 109 cm x 139 cm

The works of art donated by Professor Gösta Becker are another important contribution to the Art Museum’s collections. Becker’s collection includes numerous masterpieces by renowned Finnish artists such as Hugo Simberg, Pekka Halonen and Eero Järnefelt.

Smaller donations include the outstanding collections of Elsa Arokallio, Aune and Elias Laaksonen, Aune Lindeberg, Iris Roos-Hasselblatt and Martta and Reino Sysi. Roos-Hasselblatt’s donation of seven works includes one of the best portraits ever made by a Finnish artist, namely Magnus Enckell’s Tyra Hasselblatt (1910).

More recent donations include the Contemporary Art collection of former Chief Curator Katriina Salmela-Hasan and her husband David Hasan. It comprises works by the biggest Finnish names of the 1980s and 1990s, including Leena Luostarinen, Chris af Enehielm and Outi Heiskanen. Today, the Art Museum is concentrating on building up its collection of Finnish Contemporary Art.

Leena Luostarinen, Untitled, Katriina Salmela-Hasan and David Hasan Collection, 1995, oil, 75 cm x 77
Magnus Scharmanoff, Too Young, 1998, 50 x 100 cm, photograph
Kalle Hamm, Notion and Motion, 2001, installation
Yrjönkatu 21 B, P.O.Box 5400, 00099 The City of Helsinki
tel. +358 9 310 87 041, fax +358 9 310 87040

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The works of art may not be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means electronical or mechanical including downloading, print-out or by on-line-access or any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from copywrightholders. All rights reserved the Artist and Visual Artist's Copywright Society Kuvasto 2000.

Lasipalatsin Mediakeskus Oy ©2001 26.5.2005