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Äitiysneuvolan kalusteita. Artekin kuvakokoelma / Alvar Aalto -museo

Child health centre furniture. Artek collection / Alvar Aalto Museum.

For the first time ever, the public has a chance to see an extensive collection exhibition of the virtuoso furniture and furnishing designs for children made by Aino Aalto and Artek, in the Alvar Aalto Museum’s Gallery in Jyväskylä, Finland. Children’s Scale is open to the public throughout the spring, February 10–May 21.

Aino Aalto exhibited her first pieces of children’s furniture in 1929 and, beginning in the next decade, under Aalto’s guidance Artek designed the interiors for a large number of kindergartens and child health centres. The work produced by Aalto and her workmate, the interior architect Maija Heikinheimo, has strong ties to the modern welfare society and to the development of Finnish childcare.

“It was the Artek child’s bed found for our collection in a flea market that sparked the exhibition. It is fascinating to be able to present Aino’s expertise, and her early interest, which emerged already in her student years, in designing furnishings and spaces for children,” says Alvar Aalto Museum Curator Katariina Pakoma.

“When we were making the exhibition, an interesting detail emerged: that, alongside her work as an architect, Aino also dreamed of being a kindergarten teacher,” Pakoma continues.

The exhibition includes interiors made for kindergartens, libraries and child health centres, along with furniture designed for them. The educational elements offer something for children to experience directly. Also promised is an activity tour titled “The story of the little red chair”. For the exhibition several new pieces of children’s furniture have been built following Artek’s working drawings, and children will have a chance to try them out and explore them.

The exhibits have mainly been selected from the Alvar Aalto Museum’s own collections. Valuable additions to the exhibition have been made with objects loaned from collections belonging to the collector Pertti Männistö, the architect Igor Herler, and the Museum of Central Finland.

Children’s Scale has been produced by the Alvar Aalto Museum as a satellite exhibition, and is part of the Modern Life! exhibition at Helsinki Art Museum, HAM, March 3–July 30, 2017 and the Suomi Finland 100 centenary.

Children’s Scale
Alvar Aalto Museum Gallery
Alvar Aallon katu 7, Jyväskylä
open Tues–Sun at 11–18

Press photos:

Further information and requests for interviews:
Communications Officer Annukka Pakarinen
+358 (0)50 381 0143