HAM Helsinki Art Museum’s art collection now online
HAM Helsinki Art Museum has published approximately 1,400 artworks from its collection in the national Finna.fi search service. On HAM’s Finna page, visitors can explore works by searching for artists, topics, techniques, or various categories. The categories include exhibitions at the Tennis Palace, the Bäcksbacka Collection, and public art outdoors in the streets and indoors in schools, libraries, and day-care centres. The page is continuously updated with new works.
HAM looks after an art collection that belongs to all residents of Helsinki, with artworks spreading out from Tennis Palace to every corner of the city. HAM’s collection includes over 10,000 works, and approximately 2,500 of them are located in the city’s public spaces, indoors and outdoors. The collection’s most visible part is the public sculptures found in the streets, squares, and parks of Helsinki.
“Above all, HAM exists for its audience. It is important that the art collection belonging to all residents of Helsinki is easily accessible in both exhibitions and around the city – now also online. With Finna, the audience can also view works that are not on display at the moment”, said HAM’s Head of Collections (temp.) Kati Nenonen.
Leonard and Katarina Bäcksbacka’s collection of donated artworks is the heart of HAM. The collection, donated in 1976, includes several gems of Finnish art history, such as Tyko Sallinen’s Mirri (1910). Other artists include Ragnar Ekelund, Marcus Collin, Alvar Cawén, Jalmari Ruokokoski, and Ellen Thesleff.
One of the categories presents changes in Helsinki’s cityscape: during the past decade, 32 public artworks have been completed in the city. For example, public artworks have been implemented in the new, unfinished districts of Kalasatama and Keski-Pasila. Additionally, the pedestrian and cycling path Baana and several parks and squares have been adorned with art.
In Finna, visitors can view, for the first time, works that are located in semi-public spaces which are not open to the general public, such as schools and day-care centres. Some of these works have been commissioned from the artists enabled by the percent for art policy. In addition to the commissioned pieces, the works include art chosen from HAM’s existing collection.
Examples of works available for viewing online are Elina Autio’s commissioned work, Rainbow Pen (2022), at the Kumpupilvi Day-Care Centre and Antti Louhisto’s rabbit sculpture, Listening (1968), beloved by the pupils of the Snellman Comprehensive School. The Kontula Comprehensive School has art chosen by the pupils, such as Jasmin Anoschkin’s animal-themed ceramic sculptures and Tiina Laitanen’s and Kyösti Pärkinen’s colourful works.
Finna, launched in 2013, is a search service and home to millions of items of cultural and scientific material in Finland. Included in Finna are more than 470 libraries, museums, and archives that have made their unique collections and materials available for everyone. The National Library of Finland maintains and develops the Finna service continuously in cooperation with its customer organisations.
HAM’s Finna page is available at ham.finna.fi. In addition to HAM’s Finna page, the artworks can be found in the more extensive Finna.fi search service.