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The Alvar Aalto Museum’s summer exhibition “Let’s blow them away!”. Alvar Aalto through the camera lens provides a new look at Alvar Aalto and his work through the storytelling medium of photographs. The exhibition brings forth an unprecedented selection of architectural photographs from the Alvar Aalto Museum archive. Through photography, the exhibition offers a new perspective on the life and work of one of modern architecture’s leading figures.

”Forming the backbone of the exhibition are photographs chosen by Alvar Aalto himself for an exhibition that broadly presented his work at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy, in 1965. This major exhibition, the first of its kind, raised Aalto’s profile as one of the great architects of our time,” says the exhibition’s curator, art historian Asko Mäkelä.

The pictures show how photographers of various eras have seen Aalto’s buildings and approached his persona through the camera lens. From early on, Aalto understood the importance of photography as an expressive means of marketing his architecture. Aalto used the best photographers of his day, including Gustaf Welin, Eino Mäkinen, Heikki Havas and Kari Hakli. Images from the museum’s collection taken in later decades by photographers Martti Kapanen and Maija Holma also play a significant role in the exhibition.

Photographic art was held in high regard in Aalto’s family. The Aaltos’ circle of friends included well-known photographers such as Hungary’s Lazlo Moholy-Nagy. The Aaltos’ interest in modernist photography was also reflected in their own family album, where the family’s children, colleagues from their architectural office, current construction projects and newly completed architectural sites were all captured in photos taken with experimental angles. Also on display are the architect’s travel pictures, where interesting urban views or building materials and details appear in pictures – and then later adapted as themes in Aalto’s architectural drawings and reinterpreted in the form of modern architecture.

The exhibition of images from the Alvar Aalto Museum photo archive is curated by art historian Asko Mäkelä. Visual design is by the managing director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, architect Tommi Lindh, and graphic designer Tiina Ekosaari. The exhibition is presented in partnership with the Koskisen GroupLet´s blow them away! has been designed as a touring exhibition.

Read more about the exhibition: The Curators angle – An interview with Asko Mäkelä

Guided tours to the “Let´s blow them away!” exhibition will be arranged at 12.00 in Finnish and at 13.00 in English on Thursdays 6.6., 20.6., 4.7., 18.7., 1.8., 15.8. and 29.8.

Further information:
Curator Mari Murtoniemi
Tel. +358 40 355 9162

Art Historian Asko Mäkelä
Tel. +358 50 484 8363

Request for press photos:
Communications, Mirkka Vidgrén
Tel. +358 40 168 5142

“Let’s blow them away!”. Alvar Aalto through the camera lens
At the Gallery of the Alvar Aalto Museum 17 May–15 September 2019
Alvar Aallon katu 7, 40600 Jyväskylä, Finland



Viipuri Library. Photo Gustaf Welin, 1929, Alvar Aalto Museum.

Enso Gutzeit Headquarters. Photo Eino Mäkinen, 1960´s, Alvar Aalto Museum.

Finlandia Hall. Photo Kari Hakli, 1971, Alvar Aalto Museum.

Main building of the Jyväskylä University. Photo Martti Kapanen, 1980´s, Alvar Aalto Museum.

House of Culture. Photo Heikki Havas, 1959, Alvar Aalto Museum.

Villa Mairea. Photo Maija Holma, 2001, Alvar Aalto Museum.

Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). Photo Elissa Aalto, 1960´s, Alvar Aalto Museum.