Apr 30 - Sep 08

SUOMI Finnish 20th Century Design from Saarinen to Sarpaneva

With a bold and independent approach, Finland has managed to acquire a unique position in contemporary architecture and design by nurturing some of the most important designers of the 20th century. The turbulent history of the young nation in the early 20th century led to an urge to shape a common language of references, where mythical subjects and symbolism played an expressive role. During the industrial expansion in the 20´s and 30´s, Finnish design gained great international recognition and was frequently exhibited abroad. The exhibition features very rare pieces by Eliel Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, Tapio Wirkkala and Ilmari Tapiovaara among others.

Exhibition View

No. 6609. Set of six Eliel Saarinen Chairs. Designed for the Helsinki Railway station in 1906. Solid oak, leather seats. The Helsinki railway station is one of the best examples of Saarinen's Karelian style.

Exhibition View

No. 6038. Paavo Tynell. Rare large four-arm wall light from the late 1940s in brass, coloured glass, and painted metal. This is one of only three examples ever produced by Taito Oy for the Suurhokki Restaurant in Helsinki, Finland.

No. 6979. Alvar Aalto Trolley. Frame in bent laminated birch. Plywood shelves. Rubber tires. Produced by Artek in 1939.

No. 4127. Impi Sotavalta Carpet. Flatweave art deco, 1930s. Producer: Kikan Kutomo.

No. 5141. Alvar Aalto Dining Set. Birch extending table with two leaves. Laminated bent wood legs, eight stackable chairs. Produced by Artek.

Exhibition View

No. 5441. Alvar Aalto Savoy Vase. Early wood blown moulded example in blue glass. Produced by Karhula.

No. 3372. Gunnel Nyman Vases by Nuutasjärvi. Made in the 1950´s. Acid signature G Nymann.

No. 6751. Toini Muona Vase. Produced by Arabia in 1940s. Signed TM.

No. 2530. Tapio Wirkkala Coffee Table. "Mussel" and "Leaf" veneer inlay. Made by Asko in the 1950´s.

Exhibition View

No. 6948. Birger Kaipiainen Wallsculpture/ Plate. Hand painted decoration and applied ceramic glazed pearls. Signed Kaipiainen Arabia. 1970s.

Exhibition View

No. 2811. Tapio Wirkkala Bowl Comb cut. Signed Tapio Wirkkala. Made by Ittala in 1958.

No. 5175. Tapio Wirkkala Sculpture. Sterling silver. Manufacture and artist stamps. Finnish export silver marks. Only three made; one of each in wood, bronze and silver.

No. 3211. Rut Bryk Wall Sculpture. Made for Arabia 1950. Signed Rut Bryk. Ceramic squares in relief. Exhibited at the Biennale de Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Exhibition View