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Keijo Polón, who comes from Helsinki, has been collecting postcards for years – that is to say postcards showing the works of the architect Alvar Aalto. Some 188 postcards from his collection of between 350 and 400 Aalto-themed cards are now on display in the Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum. Hidden within the images on the cards there are anecdotes and information which make up a new, ever-changing narrative. The collection, which is unique, is still growing.

Polón has divided the postcards into groups according to themes that he sees in Aalto’s architecture and design. These themes include the use of natural light in architecture, the appearance of free line and fan shapes in Aalto’s work and the link between buildings and their natural surroundings.

As well as Aalto’s buildings from different periods, the themes of the cards also include light fittings, furniture and glassware. Looking closely at the material opens a window onto Aalto’s work as well as showing us the viewpoints of the various photographers who have taken the pictures.

The oldest card in the collection is from the 1910s or 1920s and the newest ones are from the new millennium. The collector has identified the most interesting card as one with a picture of the main gate at the Kouvola military base (1923), a commission given to Aalto while he was performing his military service there.


House of Cards. Architectural postcards from a private collection

April 2 – 24, 2011 in the Gallery at the Alvar Aalto Museum


Alvar Aalto Museum, Alvar Aallon katu 7, Jyväskylä, Finland

Open Tue-Sun 11-18


For more information:

Information officer Mirkka Vidgrén, tel. +358 (0)400 254 708

Nordens Hus, Reykjavik, Iceland, (1965-68).