The Alvar Aalto Foundation’s year has begun in a lively and diverse manner, considering the exceptional circumstances. Several virtual events are in preparation, but we also hope to be able to invite the public to live events and encounters as soon as restrictions allow. Here is a selection of topical international and Finnish exhibitions and events in 2021.
The Dream of a Museum.
Alvar Aalto’s Museum Designs
Until April 25, 2021, Alvar Aalto Museum Gallery, Jyväskylä, Finland
The Alvar Aalto Museum’s last Gallery exhibition before it undergoes complete renovation shows the architect Alvar Aalto’s museum designs. During his career, Alvar Aalto designed 13 museums, only three of which were built: the Museum of Central Finland (1956–61) and Alvar Aalto Museum (1971–73) in Jyväskylä, and Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg in Denmark (1966–72).
Aalto’s unbuilt museum designs include both detailed and more sketch-like plans, plus competition entries for Finland and abroad – from the Nordic countries to Europe and the Near East. The arc of development of these designs extends from the 1920s classicism of his early years to the modernism of the 1960s and 70s. Aalto’s thoughts on the ideal museum developed with each new commission and he was inspired by the museum as a building type.
When the exhibition ends on April 25, 2021, the Alvar Aalto Museum will close for complete renovation of its building. The restored Museum will re-open to the public in August 2023.
The Ruusupuisto Museum Hub in Jyväskylä, housing two distinct entities, the Alvar Aalto Museum and the Museum of Central Finland, is looking for a new name. Suggested names can be submitted March 15–April 15, 2021 on the Ruusupuisto Museum Hub´s website.
Diverse Design – 30 Years of Passionate Collecting.
Pertti Männistö’s Aalto Collection
Until April 25, 2021, Alvar Aalto Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland
This spring at the Alvar Aalto Museum is dedicated to design, and to collector Pertti Männistö’s superb private Aalto collection.
Männistö’s collecting began gradually, starting in 1992, when he acquired a prototype armchair design by Alvar Aalto. Today, the collection comprises more than a thousand objects, and includes not only furniture, lights and glass items, but also details of interiors designed by Alvar and Aino Aalto. What makes the collection particularly interesting is its completeness. The collection particularly reflects the very first steps in the Aaltos’ industrial design.
Objects from Pertti Männistö’s Aalto collection have been exhibited in Finland and abroad before, but this is the first time the collection is being shown on such a large scale to a broad public in Finland. The Alvar Aalto Foundation is grateful for Artek’s help with the exhibition.
Due to the exhibition’s widespread popularity the original schedule has been extended until April 25. The exhibition can also be viewed in online guided tours – Curator´s Favourites and Collector´s Tour – on the Alvar Aalto Foundation’s YouTube channel.
4th Alvar Aalto Researchers’ Network Seminar – (Ever)green Alvar Aalto
May 6–7, 2021, Virtual Event, Pori, Finland
The fourth international Alvar Aalto Researchers’ Network Seminar will bring together a large number of top researchers in the field, as well as a global virtual audience on May 6–7, 2021.
The three main themes of this English-language event are: Sustainability (sustainable design principles in Alvar Aalto’s architecture); Reflections (reflections on and impacts of Aalto’s works in the global field of architecture); and Restoration and Reuse (the principles of sustainable development in the renovation and reuse of Aalto’s buildings).
During the two days, in addition to the keynote speakers, more than 30 topical presentations in English will be seen and heard. The seminar’s keynote speakers are professional researchers in architectural history: architect Antonello Alici, PhD, from Ancona, Italy; architect Gunny Harboe, FAIA, from Chicago; and architect Tapio Mustonen, SAFA, and architect Teemu Tuomi, SAFA, from Helsinki, Finland.
The seminar is a unique forum for discussions and presentations for the Alvar Aalto researchers’ network and for researchers on modern building stock. Ticket holders will also be able to access recordings of sessions after the event.
Further information (Please note! Early Bird tickets on sale until March 31) at the Alvar Aalto Researchers’ Network Seminar website.
Alvar & Aino Aalto – Shared Visions
20.3–20.6.2021 Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
3.7–29.8.2021 Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe, Japan
The final part of a series of exhibitions of Alvar and Aino Aalto’s life’s work, Alvar & Aino Aalto – Shared Visions, will be shown this spring and autumn in Tokyo and Kobe, Japan.
The exhibition tells the story of Aino and Alvar Aalto’s collaboration on architecture and design. They both saw architecture as an integrated whole, and in the 1920s and 30s a particular focus was on studying ways of living and related solutions. The exhibition shows the history of the design and manufacture of the Aaltos’ furniture, and the development of the Artek furniture company founded in 1935.
The first exhibition in the series, Small is beautiful – ideal homes for everyone was shown at Gallery A-quad, Tokyo in winter 2019-20, and the second, Innovations in Wood Bending Technology & Design of Furniture, at the Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, Kobe, in spring 2020. The final exhibition in the series at Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, and Hyogo Prefectural Art Museum, Kobe, combines the contents of the two previous shows into an extensive touring exhibition.
The exhibition is produced in co-operation with the Alvar Aalto Foundation, Takenaka Coporation and the Aalto Family.
15th International Alvar Aalto Symposium – Future of Industry
August 12–13, 2021, Hybrid event / Virtual event, Jyväskylä, Finland
This year, the 15th International Alvar Aalto Symposium – Future of Industry, will be a hybrid event, held onsite in Jyväskylä, Finland, and virtually for audiences around the world. The Symposium focuses on the current challenges of the spaces and milieus in the history, present and future of the manufacturing industry. The main theme will be studied from three distinct viewpoints: Reliable partner: the factory building in the city; Responsible action: sustainable industrial milieus; and Building identity: The role of industrial architecture in constructing community, recognizability and perceived value.
The Symposium’s international keynote speakers are: architect Xu Tiantian from DnA_Design Architects, Beijing, China; and architect Ute Schneider, partner at KCAP Architects, specializing in urban planning.
The 2-day programme includes seminar talks, architectural excursions, exhibitions, and various public events. Subject to change due to the COVID-19 situation.
Further information: www.alvaraalto.fi/alvaraaltosymposium
Alvar Aalto Week
August 14–22, 2021, Kouvola
This year’s Alvar Aalto Week will take place in Kouvola, Finland, on August 14–22, 2021, celebrating Kouvola’s rich industrial heritage. Kouvola is Chair of the international network of Alvar Aalto Cities for 2021, the Alvar Aalto Week being the year’s main event in this collaboration.
The annual festival is a lively urban event organized around themes arising from architecture, design and art, as well as from the underlying phenomena in the present day, in culture and in history. The Inkeroinen district is home to a unique building ensemble designed by Alvar Aalto, comprising a paper mill built in the 1930-50s and the Tehtaanmäki School completed in 1940.
The festival is hosted by the City of Kouvola, the Alvar Aalto Foundation and numerous individual event organizers.
Further information at the Alvar Aalto Week´s website
Alvar Aalto Foundation
Curator, exhibitions Mari Murtoniemi
Tel. +358 40 355 9162
Programme Manager Nina Heikkonen
Tel. +358 44 500 1257
Communications Manager Mirkka Vidgrén
Tel. +358 40 168 5142
Diverse Designs exhibition. Photo Maija Holma © Alvar Aalto Foundation.