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Helene Schjerfbeck's sketches donated to Ateneum Art Museum


The Friends of Ateneum association has made a significant donation to the art collections of the Ateneum Art Museum. The donation includes Helene Schjerfbeck's sketchbooks, sketches and photographs.

Next year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946). The main exhibition of the anniversary year will be held at the Ateneum Art Museum from 1 June to 14 October 2012. To mark the anniversary, the Friends of Ateneum association has donated to the museum five of Schjerfbeck's sketchbooks, a hundred sketches, photographs and other archive material. All of the items being donated come from a private collection.

The sketchbooks and sketches will be added to Ateneum's collections as part of the Friends of Ateneum Collection, which includes major works of Finnish art. The Friends of Ateneum association has previously donated to the museum two other works by Helene Schjerfbeck and 24 other items.

Selma Green, Chairman of the Friends of Ateneum Board: "Donating art to Ateneum's collections is an important function of our association - in fact, the association was founded 91 years ago specifically for this purpose. In connection with the preparations for Helene Schjerfbeck's 150th anniversary exhibition, our association was given a unique opportunity to acquire previously unseen sketch material from a private collection. Our association's over two thousand members are proud to be able to donate the sketches of one of Finland's most beloved artists to the collections of the national gallery."
Maija Tanninen-Mattila, Director of the Ateneum Art Museum: "The donation by the Friends of Ateneum is an important addition to Ateneum's collections, as previously we have not had a single sketchbook by Schjerfbeck. The museum is extremely grateful that its friends are supporting the museum through such donations."

The Friends of Ateneum is the oldest museum friends association in Finland, founded in 1919 to support the Ateneum Art Museum. In addition to donations, members of the Friends of Ateneum support the museum through volunteer work. The association has been active in its current form since 1985, and it currently has over 2000 members. For further information, see www.ateneum.fi/friends.