Where did the Three Smiths go?
How would you feel if the Three Smiths statue was missing from Helsinki city centre? It will now disappear into a box for a while as part of the opening of the State of Mind – Helsinki 1939–1945 joint exhibition by HAM Helsinki Art Museum and Helsinki City Museum.
By covering the statue with a box, the organisers hope to challenge viewers to immerse themselves in the wartime atmosphere in Helsinki and invite people to visit the State of Mind exhibition.
The exhibition, curated by author Anna Kortelainen, PhD, opens up a completely novel perspective on Helsinki during the war. Between 1939 and 1945, the appearance and spirit of the City changed drastically.
People wanted to save public works of art and transport them to safety, away from the war. The Three Smiths Statue was lowered from its base in the spring of 1944 and evacuated to what is now Hakkila in Tikkurila, where it was buried in a gravel pit. The same order applied to many other public sculptures in Helsinki. The statue was returned to its place one year later in the spring of 1945.
The box covering the Three Smiths and the accompanying light and audio landscapes will be on display until 30 October 2019. The State of Mind exhibition will open on 18 October in HAM and Villa Hakasalmi.