The Finnish National Gallery is a public foundation. Its establishment and operation are governed by the Act and Decree on the Finnish National Gallery that came into effect on 1 January 2014. The governing bodies of the organisation are the Council, the Board, and the Director General. The Council and the Board are appointed by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, the Director General by the Finnish Government. The Finnish National Gallery falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Culture and it is funded mainly by the State.
One of the primary tasks of the Finnish National Gallery is to maintain and augment the State Art Collection, which comprises more than 36,000 works of art, as well as archival material and objects. In addition, the Finnish National Gallery is active in the organisation of art exhibitions and other art museum operations, participates in the development of the museum sector as an art museum expert, fulfils its legal obligations and carries out the tasks assigned to it by the Ministry of Education and Culture. By carrying out these tasks, the Finnish National Gallery enhances the social influence of the visual arts.
The Finnish National Gallery comprises three museum units: the Ateneum Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum.
The Finnish National Gallery’s Collections Department is responsible for the management of the collection of the Finnish National Gallery (State Art Collection), which comprise works of art, archival material and objects that are owned by the State and stored by the Finnish National Gallery.
First year of operations
The Finnish National Gallery was established as a foundation to continue the successful legacy of the national art museums maintained by the Finnish Art Society, the Finnish Art Academy Foundation and the original Finnish National Gallery, which operated as a State institution under the Ministry of Education. The Finnish National Gallery was reorganised into an independent public foundation in accordance with the Government Act and Decree on the Finnish National Gallery that were passed by Parliament in December 2013.
The operations of the new Finnish National Gallery began successfully in January 2014 with a new organisation and operating model. The year under review was active and productive thanks not only to the new working methods and organisation but also to the great success of the exhibitions held in 2014 and despite the renovations carried out at Ateneum and Kiasma. The Ateneum Art Museum recorded the highest number of visitors in its history, while the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum also achieved most of their targets.
Success in Finland and abroad
During the year under review the Finnish National Gallery presented a balanced artistic content and a wide range of public events that were successful and popular. The foundation’s financial result for its first year of operations was also relatively healthy thanks to ticket revenues from exhibitions, in particular the enormously successful Tove Jansson centenary exhibition at Ateneum. The year was topped off by the signing of an agreement that had been under preparation for a long time among various parties that will enable with State support a strong online presence for our collections long into the future.
What is most important, however, is what the Finnish National Gallery can offer its owners, the people of Finland, and how we can build our common future. The Finnish National Gallery brings national art treasures and selected gems of international art within reach of each and every Finn. We offer knowledge and experiences, and we make the visual arts a genuine component of social influence.
Interest in the exhibitions and collections of the Finnish National Gallery has been reflected also in activities beyond the walls of our museum buildings. The Ateneum Art Museum’s exhibitions of the art of Helene Schjerfbeck and Tove Jansson were also successes in Frankfurt, Germany, as well as in several museums in Japan. Kiasma in turn made an appearance at Kunsthalle Helsinki, and it also organised activities, in particular for children, at various other locations in Helsinki. The Finnish National Gallery also attracted international attention in June when it hosted the European Registrars Conference, which was attended by over five hundred participants. The conference provided an opportunity for us present Finnish art museum expertise to leading experts from around the world.
We provide an opportunity for all who are interested to find out more about Finland’s past, present and future through our exhibitions. Admission to our museums is free of charge for everyone under the age of 18. We also offer special activities for kindergartens and schools that introduce children to a world in which the world around them can be interpreted through art.
Our aim is to serve as a trendsetter, a platform for social debate, a thought provoker and a pillar for the wellbeing of society. We carry out our responsibilities for the good of the Finnish people.
Our vision for the future is to be a major international operator whose inspiring collection work and insightful exhibitions attract 600,000 visitors a year to our museums in addition to over three million visitors online. We aim to be a trendsetter in the field of the arts and the best employer in Finland.