Air de Paris exhibition is a walking tour through 1930s Paris, following in the footsteps of Leonard Bäcksbacka (1892–1963).

The exhibition feels like a light breeze from the French capital.

This exhibition shows the works of French and Finnish artist who lived and worked in Paris, mostly dating from the first few decades of the 20th century.

Bäcksbacka founded the Konstsalongen art gallery in Helsinki in 1915. This provided him with an excellent vantage point from which to observe artistic life during the interwar period. At that time, the spirit in Paris was modern and filled with parties. Bäcksbacka became an advocate for French art, and he bought many works, exhibited them in his gallery in Helsinki on several occasions, and even convinced some Finnish museums to include them in their collections.

“When you live in the north, as I do, you want beautiful things to make your heart sing.”
Leonard Bäcksbacka

Leonard and Katarina Bäcksbacka’s art collection played a decisive role in the founding of the Helsinki Art Museum. In 1976, a total of 448 works of art were donated to the city, and they formed the core of the HAM Helsinki Art Museum’s collections.

The exhibition is curated by art historian Laura Gutman, who is originally from Paris but now lives in Finland. This exhibition is a continuation of the HAM’s roots series.

Come and experience the unique atmosphere of Paris – ‘Air de Paris’.