Victor Westerholm (1860-1919) was the first curator of the Turku Art Museum and a director at the Turku Art School. Wäinö Aaltonen studied painting under Westerholm in 1910-1915. Westerholm had a great influence on the development of the Turku Art School and of the Finnish arts education.
The memorial herm of Westerholm by Aaltonen is erected in front of the Turku Art Museum. A herm is a sculpture with a bust or a head placed on top of a square column.
The herm of R.W. Ekman by Wäinö Aaltonen (1894-1966) stands in front of the Turku Art Museum. A herm is a sculpture with a bust or a head placed on top of a square column.
Robert Wilhelm Ekman (1808-1873) was a notable Finnish painter in the 1850s. He was also the founder and first director of the Turku Art School. Ekman’s most famous works are the frescoes in the chancel of the Turku Cathedral.
The herm of Ekman was acquired with the help of a donation from Gustav Albert Petrelius, and it was unveiled on 4 January 1927.
The state commissioned a sculpture of the multiple Olympic gold medallist Paavo Nurmi (1897-1973) in 1924. This was the first public sculpture commission in independent Finland, and it depicts the athlete naked, according to the ideals of ancient Olympia.
In Turku, Wäinö Aaltonen (1984-1966) wanted the sculpture to face the training grounds in Littoinen, and it stands now on a traffic island on Itäinen Rantakatu. The sculpture highlights the agility of the athlete’s step and the long movements of his body.
The sculpture Myrsky (Storm) stands on the terrace of the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art. It depicts a woman striding forward, her hair and skirt blowing in the wind. The sculpture is a second mould of the memorial in Pori for the victims of the sunken torpedo boat S2 (1925). Finland’s Ministry of Defence commissioned the memorial from Aaltonen in 1928. Myrsky is the most emotionally tragic of the artist’s monuments.
Professor Juhani Pallasmaa (b.1936) designed the Muistijälki (Memory trace) piece in honour of the centennial of the birth of Wäinö Aaltonen (1894-1966). This work consists of the sculpture Muusa (Muse) by Aaltonen and a steel structure indicating the site of Aaltonen’s former workshop. Muusa was unveiled on 30 May 1994 as part of Pallasmaa’s piece.
Turun Lilja (The Lily of Turku) by Wäinö Aaltonen (1894-1966) stands in Runeberg Park next to the Aura Bridge. It was the first outdoor sculpture acquired by the City of Turku. This modernist sculpture was Aaltonen’s third monument, and it was realised in granite in the stoneworks of J.E. Forsman in Helsinki. The sculpture was completed in 1924-1926 and unveiled in 1928.
The two riders in this sculpture placed in front of the Turku Concert Hall symbolise the friendship between Turku and Gothenburg, who have been twin cities since 1946.
The series Työ ja tulevaisuus (Work and future) by Wäinö Aaltonen (1894-1966) includes five sculptures designed for the Parliament chamber: Henkinen työ, Tulevaisuus, Raivaaja, Usko ja Sadonkorjaaja (Intellectual Work, Future, Settler, Faith and Harvester). These were the winning sculptures of a competition, and they represent the ideals of the people of a young nation.
The head of Aleksis Kivi sculpted by Wäinö Aaltonen (1894-1966) and placed in front of the Turku City Theatre is connected to the memorial of Kivi in the Railway Square in Helsinki. The memorial was commissioned from Aaltonen after competitions in 1927-1928 and 1930. There were no photographs of Kivi, so the statue is modelled after drawings made beside the writer’s deathbed. Aaltonen’s design is an idealization of the features of a writer who was reflective and suffered for his art.