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Mauno Oittinen: Matti and Jaakko, 1937-38. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum

Matti ja Jaakko / Matti and Jaakko

Artist Mauno Oittinen

Munkkiniemen puistotie 1 and 2, Munkkiniemi, Helsinki

At the beginning of the road named Munkkiniemen puistotie are two, towered houses at what is known Munkkiniemen portin (transl. the gate of Munkkiniemi). Two little athletic male characters are visible on the level of the second floor. The sculptor, Mauno Oittinen, intended the bronze cast characters to greet the visitors arriving at the building. Models for the sculptures were the sons of the builder of the towers, Martti Sorvari. On the left side is his son Matilla, who yields a play airplane in his hands. On the right is Jaakko, who is gazing towards the sky with one arm raised.

The works don’t belong to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

The residential buildings were created one after another in the years 1937 and 1938 by building master V.G. Linnapuomi. Situated facing the city, a fresco of flying swans decorates the balcony, railings, and upper walls. The idea for the Munkkiniemi Gate area also included Eliel Saarinen’s plans for Munkkiniemi, which were not realised to completion.

Mauno Oittinen’s best known work is probably Hyvinkää’s Nosturinhitsaajia (transl. Crane Welder) of 1962. Oittinen also created Elias Lönnrot’s memorial in Kajaani (1940) and a bronze monument dedicated to migrants which was transferred to the town of Hanko in West Finland. The three swans in this work are taking flight. The works second part is located in Florida’s Lake Worth, in which two swans are portrayed taking flight.

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