Current exhibitions in the Museum of Central Finland
The new permanent exhibition of the Museum of Central Finland traces the history of Central Finland from prehistoric times all the way to the year 2000. The exhibition ponders and presents the life of the people of the region in the different millennia, centuries, and decades. In the exhibition, there is a wide variety of things to see, listen to, and do for people of all ages. You can, for example, listen to memories and stories, wonder at and admire the changing Central Finnish landscape and environment, pop to the movies, read comics about the founding of the city, feel the magic of the smoke sauna, relive glorious moments of sports history or immerse yourself in rap music. Or what would it be like to feel the magic of 1960s dancing to tunes from a jukebox? Children can play old-time games, visit the market, play hopscotch or create cave paintings using modern techniques. And what does a trip, led by young Alvar Aalto, to Jyväskylä of more than a hundred years ago look like? The exhibition also has two big scale models of the city of Jyväskylä.
Jyväskylä and its faces. Photographs by Pekka Helin
The Museum of Central Finland’s summer exhibition Jyväskylä and its faces takes you on a nostalgic voyage to the Jyväskylä of the 1980s and 1990s. The exhibition of Pekka Helin, the long-time photographer of the museum, presents Jyväskylä and its people from the era. The documentary photographs lead you to the hustle and bustle of the city, the city environment, and events. The exhibition promises surprising encounters with ordinary citizens as well as public figures.
As his favourite subjects, Pekka Helin names the backyards of the city and “non-landscapes”, which are not depicted on postcards. He prefers photographing people quickly and in close proximity, often without a planned pose. “My pictures are documents which show the time of shooting and the spirit of the times. When I am taking pictures, there is always on my mind the fact that this place, view or similar looking people and cars are not going to be around any more in ten or twenty years’ time”, Helin tells.
In the 1970s through to the 1990s, Helin contributed as a photographer to the newspaper of the Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä, the newspaper Keskisuomalainen, and the magazine City as well as occasionally to the music magazine Soundi. The portraits in the exhibition are mostly from these photo shoots. Helin’s career at the Museum of Central Finland began in 1983. His versatile job description included, among other things, documentation and event shoots as well as taking pictures of objects and works of art. An exhibition of his photographs was last shown in the Museum of Central Finland in 1983.
Hearts, diamonds, and tulips. Folk ryijy rugs from the 18th and 19th centuries
The exhibition Hearts, diamonds, and tulips fills the Art Hall of the Museum of Central Finland with magnificent ryijy rugs starting from mid-June. In Finland, ryijy rugs have been significant utility textiles and their uses have adapted to meet the needs of different times: from a boat and sleeping cover to a bedcover, wedding ryijy, sleigh cover and, finally, a wall decoration. If Finland had a national textile, it would undoubtedly be the ryijy rug.
The exhibition showcases Finnish folk ryijy rugs from the 18th and 19th centuries and the changes within different types of ryijy rugs. Finnish ryijy rugs have been valued since the time of Gustav Vasa. He ordered ryijy rugs for his castles from Finland, apparently due to them being held in high esteem. In the 16th century, when ryijy rugs were started to be used in wedding ceremonies, they were made handsome and colourful.
The folk ryijy rug had its heyday at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. The ryijy rugs were an indication of the creative capabilities and sense of beauty of the folk women. Later, in the 20th century, the ryijy rug became a form of textile art. The constant evolvement of and changes in the ryijy rug with the times, needs of the people, and art styles has been typical of the Finnish ryijy rug. That is why it is still going strong.
Most of the ryijy rugs in the exhibition are from the collection of professor emeritus Tuomas Sopanen, but there are also some from the ryijy collection of the Museum of Central Finland. “Oral history tells us that Alvar Aalto designed the Art Hall of the Museum of the Central Finland specifically with the museum’s significant ryijy rug collection in mind, which gives an interesting angle to the exhibition”, tells the Director of Museums Heli-Maija Voutilainen.