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The start of the Community

 

The community was started off in spring 1897 when Juhani Aho’s wife, Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, discovered a suitable house for the family in the village of Järvenpää. The villa was christened Ahola. In their wake Pekka and Maija Halonen also moved to the quiet countryside; their studio home was called Halosenniemi and was built in 1901–02. J. H. Erkko’s house Erkkola and Eero and Saimi Järnefelt’s Suviranta were built around the same time. The last to arrive were Jean and Aino Sibelius, whose Ainola was completed in 1904.

The artists and their families already knew each other previously. They were united by a similar ideological background and shared interests in literature, music, theatre and the fine arts, as well as thoughts on education, interior decoration and gardening. Similar communities bringing together artists from different disciplines also emerged around this time elsewhere in Scandinavia and Europe.