Turku City Art Collection

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History and principles

The City of Turku has an art collection of over 10 000 works of art. The oldest works are medieval wood sculptures and 17th century portraits that used to belong to the collections of the Turku Historical Museum (1881-1981) and later the Provincial Museum of Turku (1982-2008).

The City of Turku started working on the art collection in 1937. The main purpose of the collection was to make the public spaces in the city more attractive. Later, the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art (WAM) was made responsible for the maintenance of this collection and for collecting modern art. All the art collections of the City of Turku were combined in 2009 with the establishment of the Museum Centre of Turku.

The majority of the city’s art collection explores Turku and its cultural and art history. The collection is constantly expanded with modern art, with the focus in sculptures and three-dimensional art. The works of the sculptor Wäinö Aaltonen belong to the main collection of the museum, and this collection is still expanded whenever possible.

In addition to the art in WAM and the main exhibition in the Turku Castle, the city’s art collection also includes works of art in several public areas, schools, libraries and offices. The cityscape is also invigorated by over a hundred outdoor sculptures, reliefs and works of environmental art.

The Museum Centre of Turku is responsible for the customer service, documentation, maintenance and restoration of the art collection.

Depositing art

Around 2400 works of art from the Turku City Art Collection are currently placed on deposit in offices and institutions. The purpose of the deposited art is to brighten up various spaces in the city. This activity is part of the arts and cultural education of the Museum Centre. Every work of art is deposited in a specific place, as there are limitations of space and maintenance requirements to be considered. The staff of the institution or office in question can share their opinions, and they are given information about the art, the artists and cultural history.