The Swiss furniture company Vitra has bought Artek from Proventus of Sweden. Alvar and Aino Aalto co-founded Artek in 1935, together with Maire Gullichsen and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Alvar Aalto’s furniture and lamps have been at the core of Artek’s range since the beginning. The close collaboration of many years between the Alvar Aalto Foundation, which fosters Aalto’s heritage, and Artek will continue following the change of ownership.
“From the Alvar Aalto Foundation’s viewpoint, a new close cultural collaboration is being formed, in which the cooperation model followed by Alvar Aalto Museum and Artek is being linked to the corresponding arrangement between the Eames Foundation and Vitra. An Aalto-exhibition project run jointly by the Vitra Design Museum and Alvar Aalto Museum had already begun before anything was known about this corporate acquisition, so we have already had our shared interests in mind for some time,” says Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation and Museum Tommi Lindh.
Over the years, Artek has developed into an innovative, modern, international design company in line with the ideology of its founders. Artek will continue to invest in growth and in further internationalization. Vitra’s solid expertise in the field will bring additional resources to manufacturing, logistics and distribution.
“This is a splendid opportunity for the Finnish design industry, and a big step for Artek. It takes us towards new goals. Internationalization has been a clear goal since Artek’s founding charter was drawn up in 1935. As the new owner, Vitra will be a support and a resource for Artek to help it achieve growth and its internationalization goals,” says Artek Managing Director Mirkku Kullberg.
Alongside Alvar Aalto’s design classics, Artek’s collection includes furniture and light fittings by Tapio Wirkkala, Eero Aarnio and Juha Leiviskä. In line with its new portfolio strategy Artek has extended its product range by buying the rights to Ilmari Tapiovaara’s furniture collection, and has signed a cooperation agreement with Yrjö Kukkapuro.
Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation and Museum Tommi Lindh,
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