Exhibitions past

Independent Visions Helene Schjerfbeck and Her Contemporaries

4-29-2017 THROUGH 10-7-2017
Helene Schjerfbeck, Red Apples, 1915 (Detail). Ateneum, Finnish National Gallery

SAT—4-29-2017 THROUGH SAT—10-7-2017

TUE-SAT—12–6 PM, free
12–7 PM, free

Independent Visions: Helene Schjerfbeck and Her Contemporaries, from the Collection of Ateneum, Finnish National Gallery, an exhibition presenting fifty-five works by four celebrated Finnish artists, is on view now at the Scandinavia House gallery. The exhibition highlights the pioneering role of these artists at the end of the 19th century and in the early decades of the 20th century: Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946), Sigrid Schauman (1877–1979), Ellen Thesleff (1869–1954), and Elga Sesemann (1922–2007). Coinciding with the year-long celebration of the centennial anniversary of Finland’s independence from Russia, the exhibition provides a rich opportunity for American audiences to engage with these influential Finnish painters.

The exhibition is curated by Anu Utriainen, curator of collections at Ateneum and Dr. Susanna Pettersson, director of Ateneum, Finnish National Gallery. On view through October 7, 2017, the exhibition will be accompanied by a range of public programs for all ages and a new catalogue.

Drawn from Ateneum’s extensive collection, Independent Visions features Schjerfbeck’s complex self-portraits, Thesleff’s colorful woodcuts, Schauman’s lush and delicate landscapes, and Sesemann’s brooding Expressionist portraits. Sharing the experience of traveling and studying in France and Italy while maintaining strong attachments to their home country of Finland, these artists and their work reveal the excitement and turbulence of the modern period that generated a newly found independence—both cultural and personal.





WEDNESDAYS—5:30 PM, free


Learn more about the artists featured, their background, sources of inspiration, and techniques. These free, 35-minute public tours meet in the gallery elevator lobby. Tours subject to change; please check with front desk for availability.

Presentation of the exhibition at Scandinavia House has been made possible by the generous support of the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.  Additional support has been provided by Finlandia Foundation National as well as the following American-Scandinavian Foundation Funds:  The Ella Leppala Kronquist from Kuru, Finland, William Kronquist from Narpes, Finland, and Dr. Laura Kronquist Mesaros Memorial Endowment Fund, The Hilppa Roby Fund for Finnish Cultural and Educational Programs at Scandinavia House and the F. Donald Kenny Fund for the Visual Arts.