20 June – 29 October 2017
Will be on show at Nationalmuseum Design, Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Stockholm
Rafaela Seppälä-Forsblom and Kaj Forsblom have been dedicated collectors of artefacts and applied art by Finnish designers, architects and artists since the early 2000s. The collection began with a simple glass bottle by Ristomatti Ratia given to Ms Seppälä as a Valentine’s Day gift in 1999 by her future husband Kaj Forsblom.
Since that time, the collection has grown to encompass a range of 20th-century artefacts and contemporary Finnish design and objets d’art, reflecting Finland’s development as a nation from 1900 to the present day. The pieces provide insights into innovation, technology, development and aesthetics in the years immediately before and especially after Finland’s declaration of independence in 1917.
A key motivation in building the collection has been a desire to prevent unique pieces of classic Finnish design from being scattered to all corners of the world, and to keep them in Finland for future generations to enjoy.
Unlike museums, which have to be objective in their collection policies, private collectors can choose pieces solely on the basis of personal taste. “Every piece in our collection has been lovingly chosen,” says Rafaela Seppälä-Forsblom. The couple’s passionate interest in Finnish design history pervades the collection and accounts for its scope and variety.
The exhibition features over 200 pieces by 28 designers, architects and artists. Visitors can see furniture, light fittings, glass, ceramics, textiles and objets d’art by names including Alvar Aalto, Maija Isola, Toini Muona, Gunnel Nyman, Ristomatti Ratia, Eliel Saarinen, Timo Sarpaneva, Paavo Tynell and Tapio Wirkkala.
This exhibition is the most extensive public showing to date of the Rafaela and Kaj Forsblom collection.
Suomi Finland 100 Years
The exhibition is part of the celebration of Finland's independence in 1917. Read more about Suomi Finland 100 Years.