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Seasons in Us – Works from the Collections of the Association of Finnish Fine Art Foundations

Oulu City Art Museum, Oulu

  • 17.6.2023–7.1.2024

Changing seasons reflect the continuity of life.


The changing of seasons reflects the continuity of life. Nature is always in a state of change, preparing for the next season. In the same way, human minds are typically oriented towards the future. The seasons, or rather the amount of light, affect brain functions, emotions and social life. It is therefore no wonder that we divide the seasons into the more anticipated and the less pleasant according to our personal experiences. Here in the North many people love summer, but all seasons have their champions – and happy is the person who finds joy in each of them. Especially for those who enjoy spending time in the nature, the annual cycle of seasons offers an inexhaustible supply of things to experience and marvel.

The joint exhibition by Oulu Museum of Art and the Finnish Fine Art Foundations explores how seasons are reflected in nature, landscapes and people's lifestyles. In a northern-hemisphere country like Finland, people are used to four seasons – or, in the Smi community, even eight. In the recent years, however, we have had to adjust to the idea that the seasons are not what they used to be. Climate change affects global climate trends, which in turn have a tangible and significant impact on the living conditions of plants, animals and people.

The Seasons in Us consists of 80 works, mostly paintings. The works have been selected from the nationally significant art holdings of the eleven member organisations of Finnish Fine Art Foundations that together hold more than 25,000 artworks. According to Elina Vieru, the curator of the exhibition, the works featured in The Seasons in Us emphasise representational qualities and a certain concreteness as many of the collections focus on older figurative art and, on the other hand, the theme of the exhibition limits the choice.

Approximately half of the works are dated before the 1950s while the other half is more recent. Art from the 1870s to the early decades of the 20th century is represented in by works of artists such as Ferdinand von Wright, Albert Edelfelt, Helene Schjerfbeck, Pekka Halonen, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Ellen Favorin and Helmi Biese that often depict the Finnish nature in a way that is nostalgic for the contemporary viewer. In the works of contemporary artists such as Marika Mkel, Petri Hytnen, Joel Slotte and Anna Retulainen, the seasons are often approached from the perspective of subjective states of mind and interpretation.

Finnish Fine Art Foundations was established (under a slightly different name) in 2006 by six foundations. Since then, the organisation has been joined by five more foundations. Some of the foundations focus on controlling their existing art assets, while others are still building their collections. In addition to the visual arts, the member foundations support arts including literature and music and award grants for scientific projects. Selections from the art collections of the member foundations are displayed in permanent offices and exhibition spaces, some of which are protected buildings and home museums. Since 2017, Finnish Fine Art Foundations has been presenting its collections in themed exhibitions in art museums around Finland. In Northern Finland, artworks from the member foundations have previously only been exhibited in Rovaniemi in 2018. The exhibition in Oulu also introduces the latest member to the association, the Freningen Konstsamfundet. For more information on the activities of the Finnish Fine Art Foundations https:/­/­­en/­

Oulu Museum of Art wishes to thank the Alfred Kordelin Foundation, the Fortum Art Foundation, the Freningen Konstsamfundet, the Gsta Serlachius Art Foundation, the Lnnstrm Art Museum, the Nordea Art Foundation, the OP Group Art Foundation, the Pro Artibus Foundation, the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation and the bo Akademi Foundation for their excellent cooperation.

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Museum contact details

Oulu City Art Museum
Kasarmintie 9, 90015 Oulun kaupunki

044 703 7471

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Oulu City Art Museum, Kasarmintie 9, 90015 Oulun kaupunki


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Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card


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Mon Closed
Tue 09:00-17:00
Wed 09:00-17:00
Thu 09:00-17:00
Fri 11:00-19:00
Sat 10:00-18:00
Sun 10:00-18:00

5.10. 10.30–17


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