Admission with Museum Card

Schjerfbeck & Fashion – Art and Costume History 1880–1950

Villa Gyllenberg, Helsinki

  • 14.2.2024–9.6.2024

Schjerfbeck & Fashion – Art and Costume History 1880–1950 is the one of the first exhibitions in Finland to present historical fashion and paintings side by side.


Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946) loved both painting and fashion, and in her portraits the models attire was an integral part of the work. The birth of modern fashion coincided with Helene Schjerfbecks career, which spanned from the 1870s to the 1940s. Schjerfbeck & Fashion – Art and Costume History 1880–1950 is the first exhibition in Finland to present historical fashion and paintings side by side.

Schjerfbeck was particularly fond of French-style apparel, and French fashion magazines served as inspiration for her paintings as well. The coolly elegant figures of the women in the fashion photos, with their long necks and reddened lips, merged into the image of modern femininity embodied in works of art. Schjerfbecks enthusiasm for fashion is also evident in her letters to her cousin Dora Estlander, who was the model for the painting Elegant Lady (Dora), (ca. 1928). The letters from 1922–1945 are now owned by the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, and the research conducted for the exhibition is partially based on this source material.

In addition to Schjerfbeck, for example, Albert Edelfelt (1854–1905) and Gunnar Berndtson (1854–1895) were inspired by the world of fashion, and costumes and textiles are central to creating atmosphere and impression in their works. Especially in portrait art, clothing has played a key role. Alongside Schjerfbecks works, the exhibition presents more than twenty other works by Finnish artists related to fashion and costume history. In addition to fine art, the exhibition presents about thirty costumes of the period, from leisurewear to brilliant evening dresses. The exhibition also highlights the history of costume making and atelier fashion.

Often thought of as superficial and transient, fashion is commonly seen as the opposite of art, which is perceived as sublime and timeless. However, modern art and modern fashion are intertwined in many ways.

Artists featured in the exhibition include: Gunnar Berndtson, Vin Blomstedt, Yngve Bck, Birger Carlstedt, Marcus Collin, Albert Edelfelt, Ragnar Ekelund, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Olga Gummerus-Ehrstrm, Axel Haartman, Greta Hllfors-Sipil, Eero Jrnefelt, Erkki Koponen, Vin Kunnas, Vilho Lampi, Yrj Ollila, Jalmari Ruokokoski, Tyko Sallinen, Santeri Salokivi, Helene Schjerfbeck, Hugo Simberg, Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, Ilmari Vuori, Dora Wahlroos, Matti Warn, Torsten Wasastjerna and Maria Wiik.

The curators of the exhibition are art historian Marja Lahelma, fashion historian Katri Pyysalo and Villa Gyllenbergs chief curator Lotta Nylund. In connection with the exhibition, a richly illustrated book related to the theme of the exhibition will be published in Finnish and Swedish (Parvs Publishing Ltd). The publication contains several articles written by experts in fashion and art history. The exhibition is part of the 75th anniversary of the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation.

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Museum contact details

Villa Gyllenberg
Kuusisaarenpolku 11, 00340 Helsinki

09 481 333

Museum website

Yhteydet julkisilla

Näytä reitti museolle Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Katso reitti Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Villa Gyllenberg, Kuusisaarenpolku 11, 00340 Helsinki


Tai lataa Reitit ja Liput -sovellus

Admission fees

Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card


Payment methods

kteinen, yleisimmt pankki- ja luottorkortit, Smartum-ja Edenred -kulttuurisetelit / kontanter, de allmnnaste bank- och creditkorten, Smartum- och Edenred -kultursedlar / cash, the most common bank and credit cards, Smartum and Edenred culture vouchers

Opening hours

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-17:00
Thu 12:00-17:00
Fri Closed
Sat 11:00-17:00
Sun 11:00-17:00

Museum closed:1.5, 10.6-25.6.2024 (change of exhibition)

Accessibility [the criteria]


Näyttelyn tekstit kielillä