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On the Shores of the Lake
11.10.2013 - 09.02.2014


Tuusula Artist Community

The dream of a lakeside home in the countryside yet close to the capital appealed to young Finnish artists a hundred years ago. The author Juhani Aho and his artist wife Venny Soldan-Brofeldt moved near Tuusulanjärvi in 1897 and were soon followed by Eero Järnefelt, Jean Sibelius, Pekka Halonen and their families. The time they spent together sharing their ideals made the Tuusula artist community unique in Finnish history.

Around the turn of the 20th century, an artist community grew on the eastern shore of Lake Tuusula when a number of leading representatives of Finnish cultural life moved to live and work there with their families: the writer Juhani Aho and the artist Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, the composer Jean Sibelius, the painters Eero Järnefelt and Pekka Halonen, and the poet J. H. Erkko.

The Tuusula community was founded at a politically restless time. Many artists felt oppressed by the mood in Helsinki, and the city’s busy social life with its amusements took its toll on their creative work. They were drawn to the shores of Lake Tuusula by the beautiful scenery and the peace and quiet it offered for work. Yet they were not too far from the cultural life of the capital: the journey by train from Järvenpää to Helsinki took one and a half hours.

A new exhibition opening in autumn 2013 presents the life of the community and its fascinating artist homes, including a wide range of art and artefacts. The curators of the exhibition are Riitta Konttinen and Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff.