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.
Outdoor sculptures and environmental art in Turku
Nearly hundred outdoor sculptures and works of environmental art belonging to the Turku City Art Collection decorate Turku’s cityscape. In addition to traditional monuments and representative sculptures, these works of art include participatory modern art and temporary works.
The Turku City Art Collection includes several special collections from different periods of time. The oldest of these is the fine art collection collected by the former Turku Historical Museum, including portraits, medieval sculptures, Turku cityscapes and landscapes illuminating the area’s cultural history. The most significant modern and contemporary art collections are the Wäinö Aaltonen collection and the public art around the city as well as art donated to and acquired by the Turku City Art Collection.
The Turku City Art Collection is expanded by purchase and donation. Art is purchased from exhibitions, artists and private persons. The City Board confirms annually the appropriations for investing in art acquisitions. With this money, works of art are purchased or ordered for new buildings. New art is also collected through donations.
An official record or a committee proposal is drawn up of every art acquisition and confirmed in a meeting of the Culture Committee.
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).
Have your field trip in Turku!
Welcome to the 18th century and to the oldest wooden house in Turku. On our guided tour you will learn how the gentry lived almost 300 years ago. Who was Pipping, the master of the house?
The museum also houses a 19th century pharmacy. You will learn what pharmacies and medicines were like 150 years ago. What were leeches used for?
NB. Groups with guides cannot enter the museum for the time being.
Groups can explore the museum independently or with a guide.
- We will provide various ways of experiencing Turku.
- We will find new ways of being a museum.
We encourage everyone to be curious and get excited about the Turku of the past, of today and of tomorrow. We want to help build a modern Turku with a vibrant and interactive relationship with its unique history, culture and art scene.
The Museum Centre of Turku is also the Regional Museum of Southwest Finland. The main role of the Regional Museum is to provide information about local cultural heritage and to offer expert services to local museums as well as to authorities and private citizens.
The Museum Centre of Turku consists of the museums owned by the City of Turku. The Centre is also the Provincial Museum of Southwest Finland.
The Museum Centre is responsible for the city’s cultural, art and natural history museums. It is also responsible for assembling and maintaining object and art collections as well as for promoting the preservation of the cultural environment. The Centre upholds cultural heritage and visual culture. The basis of the Museum Centre is the research and distribution of information through exhibitions and publications.
The city of Turku accepted the challenge of the City of Oulu and is now participating in the ‘Whole City is Walking’ campaign between 15 and 31 August 2015. In addition to Turku, also Vantaa and our dear rival Tampere have entered the competition.