Åland Museum

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Åland Museum and Art Museum
Ålands museum1.jpg
Åland Museum is located in Åland
Åland Museum
Location in Åland
Established 1963
Location Mariehamn,  Åland Islands
Coordinates 60°05′49″N 19°56′41″E / 60.096944°N 19.944722°E / 60.096944; 19.944722
Type General history and art museum

The Åland Museum & Åland Art Museum is a museum in Mariehamn in the Åland Islands, Finland. It is located in the eastern part of the town, about 200 metres from the harbour. Along with Åland Maritime Museum it is the most important museum in the islands. Both the main museum and the art museum are housed in the same building.[1] The art museum of the museum is referred to in the Swedish language as the "Konstmuseum".[2]

The Åland Museum traces the history of the islands from prehistoric times up until the present day while the Art Museum houses a permanent collection of local art as well as interesting temporary exhibitions. The museum plays an inspirational place for display of culture of both Finland and Sweden.[3]

Complete history of the development of the islands (Ålands Islands are 6000 islands which are self-governing Islands off the Finnish coast.[4] said to be politically Finnish but culturally Swedish), from prehistoric times onwards till date, is exhibited; a particular display in this genre is the boat made of seal skin dated to the Stone Age.[5] A traditional pharmacy is also recreated. Bomarsund, the ruined Russian fortress is also illustrated in a painting.[5]

Local artists are provided opportunities to display their paintings in exclusive areas of the museum. Ten such exhibitions are held every year on varying themes.[5]

Åland Museum[edit]

The Åland Islands Museum has a permanent collection of artifacts providing details of the history of Åland from prehistoric times to the modern period. Many displays are related to local music, festivals, seafaring and wildlife.[1] Between September 15 and October 17, 2010, the museum hosted a special exhibition containing artifacts found in a shipwreck. This exhibition of treasures found in summer of 2010 was of a shipwreck that occurred in the Baltic Sea in the 19th century. The treasures of the ship on display included the world's oldest champagne & beer bottles.[6]

The Aland Museum was awarded the Council of Europe Museum Prize on April 26, 1983 at Chateau des Rohan. [7]

Åland Art Museum[edit]

The Art Museum has its origins in 1955, when the Åland Art Association proposed it and set up a Landscape Board two years later.[8] A committee for the arts was established and in 1963 they inaugurated the new Åland Art Museum, to be managed by the Åland government.[8] Åland Art Museum contains a broad range of Åland art, from sculptures and paintings to contemporary video art and has some innovative special art exhibitions.[8] Most of the displays are permanent although it also hosts regular temporary displays of local artists.[1]

Prominent canvases exhibited are those of famous local artists like Joel Peterson (1892–1937) and Karl Emanuel Janson; the paintings of the former artist relates to "elemental forces set in a tree scape" background and the latter’s painting is of a woman wearing a dress that appears dandy like a “Midsummer pole.”[5]

A Lithograph from the Seat of the War in the East by William Simpson, which shows bombardment of Bomarsund during the Crimean War
Broken beer-bottle found in shipwreck that occurred in 19th century in the Baltic Sea was on display in the museum in September 2010

An interesting watercolour painting by J. A. G. Acke (1909) on display in the Art Museum depicts the postal route followed across the Åland Sea between 1638 and 1895. The depiction is of a mail boat created by the peasants of Eckerö, Åland designed to negotiate “drift ice conditions to cross leads, new ice, and ridged ice.” With the induction of steam boats, this type of boats stopped operating.[9]

An illustrative lithographic painting of the ruined towers of the Bomarsund Fortress is displayed at the Åland Art Museum. Bomursand fortress was built by the Russians after 1808–09 to defend against Swedish attacks. It was a project of epic proportions that involved crafstmen and soldiers from various parts of the Russian Empire. In 1854, when construction was still in progress, Crimean War ensued at Åland in which the combined naval forces of France and England subjected the fortresses to severe bombardment for two days before the Russians surrendered. This bombardment, however, resulted in substantial destruction to three of the 14 defence towers constructed till then. Even the ruins of the three towers seen along the length of walls, from both sides of the road, look impressive.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Paul Harding, Mark Elliott (2007). Scandinavian Europe (8 ed.). Lonely Planet. p. 171. ISBN 1-74104-553-3. 
  2. ^ "ÅLANDS MUSEUM OCH ÅLANDS KONSTMUSEUM HAR ÖPPET". Regeringem. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ "¤Art from the Åland at it's best!". Ålands konstmuseum. Archived from the original on April 23, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  4. ^ "The Aland Islands – Traveling to the Aland Islands:Mariehamn". GoScandinavia Travel. Archived from the original on 2009-11-28. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  5. ^ a b c d Symington, Andy (2009). Lonely Planet Finland. Lonely Planet. p. 246. ISBN 1-74104-771-4. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  6. ^ "Exhibition at Ålands Museum September 15 – October 17". Champagne.ax. September 15, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2010. /
  7. ^ Official Report OF DEBATES. Council of Europe. p. 85. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  8. ^ a b c "VÄLKOMMEN TILL ÅLANDS KONSTMUSEUM" (in Swedish). Museum.ax. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  9. ^ Leppäranta, Matti; Kai Myrberg (2009). Physical Oceanography of the Baltic Sea. シュプリンガー・ジャパン株式会社. p. 5. ISBN 3-540-79702-5. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  10. ^ Symington, p. 253