February 12, 2009

Tampere Museums

Tampere is a great place to visit. It is remarkably built astride swirling black rapids dropping 80 metres between two large lakes. It is also remarkable for its number of high quality museums. I visited:

Vapriikki museums -
www.tampere.fi/english/vapriikki; the current "Tampere 1918" show about the civil war is one of the most powerful museum displays I have seen in years (picture). And in a different way, the survey of the work of Finnish designer Dora Jung was as well done.
Maltinranta, Tampereen Taiteilijaseura - www.tampereen-taiteilijaseura.fi/hakue.htm
Grafiikanpaja Himmelblau -
Hiekan Taidemuseo -
Finnish Labour Museum Werstas -
Tampere Art Museum -
Sara Hildénin Art Museum -
The Amuri Museum of Workers' Housing cafe
Stone Museum - surprisingly fascinating collection of stones and minerals.

Mediamuseo Rupriikki
KivimuseoTR1 Exhibition Centre
- which featured a survey of the work of
Reima and Raili Pietilä - architects whom I didnt know but whose designs were very impressive, Tampere central library is a fine building.

Tampere Cathedral is also worth an architectural detour; built in 1906, with surprising decorations featuring naked boys carrying gallands of bright red roses, a wounded angel being carried on a stretcher and a serpent looking down from the middle of the ceiling.

It may shock you to read, knowing my recent criticisms of children in museums, that the most memorable museum experience was actually the Moomin Valley Museum - http://inter9.tampere.fi/muumilaakso/index.php?lang=en . As you'd expect I was completely unaware of the children's books featuring the Moomin characters, but the museum is a magical place, showing the artist's work with well thought out drama and mystery while making the illustrations accessible. But more important than the form of display was the impressive quality of Tove Jansson's designs: if anything the published stories don't do just to her illustrations - her line and sense of composition is comparable with Hokusai.

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