Hundred Years of Finnish Design

These 200 selected pieces from the Rafaela and Kaj Forsblom collection reflect Finland’s development as a nation from 1900 to the present day. Furniture, light fittings, glass, ceramics and textiles by 28 leading Finnish designers, architects and artists.

Eliel Saarinen, Suur-Merijoki library clock, 1903/04. Gunnel Nyman, Puple Vase 1951, Alvar Aalto, Stool, model 609, 1947. All Photos: Rauno Träskelin

Eliel Saarinen, Suur-Merijoki library clock, 1903/04. Gunnel Nyman, Puple Vase 1951, Alvar Aalto, Stool, model 609, 1947. All Photos: Rauno Träskelin

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.

Paavo Tynell, Snowflake, ljuskrona
Paavo Tynell, Snowflake, chandelier.

Grand opening

Tuseday 20 June, 11–18
Pop-up bar and mingle at 16–18. Director General Berndt Arell will greet you all welcome at 16.30.

Guided Tours in English

August: Sundays 14–14.45 

Click here for guided tours in Swedish

Alvar Aalto, Karhula vas, 1937. Foto: Rauno Träskelin.
Alvar Aalto, Karhula Vase, 1937. Photo: Rauno Träskelin
(The image is cropped) 


VISITING ADRESS:

Art Library and Museum Archives,
Holmamiralens väg 2,
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm 

Other adresses

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