Donated to the city in 1976, the Leonard and Katarina Bäcksbacka Collection is the cornerstone of the Helsinki Art Museum. The collection consists of approximately 430 individual works collected by art connoisseur and gallerist Leonard Bäcksbacka.
This donated collection contains several gems of Finnish art history, such as the painting Mirri (1910) by Tyko Sallinen. Other artists represented include Ragnar Ekelund, Marcus Collin, Alvar Cawén and Jalmari Ruokokoski. The collections has been supplemented with additional works after the donation, such as the painting Seitsemän veljestä by Marcus Collin.
A precondition of the donation made in the name of Leonard and Katarina Bäcksbacka was that the collection was to be kept in one place, where the majority of it could be permanently displayed. The Art Museum Meilahti building was originally built specifically for the Bäcksbacka Collection.
Approximately one quarter of HAM’s exhibition facilities is dedicated to the Bäcksbacka Collection. The collection is showcased in various rotating exhibitions.