1. 1878

    Amos Anderson from the Island of Kimito is born

    Amos Anderson was born on September 3, 1878 into a farming family in the remote village of Brokärr on Kimito island in the Turku archipelago.

    Amos Anderson
  2. 1900

    Student of Economics and Insurance studies

    He entered a Swedish-language commercial college in Turku in 1898. Anderson studied Economics and Insurance studies in 1900–02 in Göttingen and briefly in London, but did not complete a degree. Following his move back to Helsinki he advanced rapidly in his career and achieved success in business, industry and publishing.

  3. 1905

    Founder of finance magazines and an advertising agency.

    Amos soon began to publish finance magazines. Försäkrings Tidskrift, first published in 1905, and Mercator, established 1906. In 1907, Amos Anderson founded the advertising agency Nordiska annonsbyrån, and two years later the Mercator printing press in the backyard of a newly purchased plot of land on Yrjönkatu 27. In 1911 Anderson founded the short-lived Dagens Tidning newspaper, whose editor-in-chief was the legendary Guss Mattsson.

  4. 1917

    The biggest entrepreneur in Finnish lithography and owner of Hufvudstadsbladet.

    Having acquired controlling interest in the Tilgmann printing house in 1916, Amos Anderson became the biggest entrepreneur in Finnish lithography. In 1921, he bought Hufvudstadsbladet, the largest Swedish-language daily in Finland, and the evening paper Svenska Pressen. He was editor-in-chief of Hufvudstadsbladet in 1928–1936.

  5. 1920s

    Businessman, romantic, and Middle Ages enthusiast

    The story has it that Amos Anderson had two sides to his personality: by day he was a determined businessman, and by night sensitive and sociable patron of the arts and culture. His tough exterior masked a romantic with a tendency for mysticism and religiousness. Amos Anderson felt a particular affinity with medieval art, music and ceremony. In 1921, he published an extensive book on medieval church architecture in Finland. The restoration of old churches interested him to the extent that he sponsored the re-building and refurbishment of churches in Turku, Parainen and Kimito. In the 1927 he designed a private chapel for the top floor of his house complete with classical paintings and an organ.

    Property Investor

    By the time World War I broke out Amos Anderson had begun to accumulate wealth by buying property in the centre of Helsinki. In 1913, he had a residence-cum-office block built for himself in Yrjönkatu, the same building that today houses the Amos Anderson Art Museum. A few years later, he owned a large part of the area now known as Forum.

    1. 1922

      Member of Parliament and friend of Presidents.
      Amos Anderson was involved in national politics as a Member of Parliament in 1922–1927 and as a presidential elector in 1937, 1940 and 1943. His social circle included Presidents P.E. Svinhufvud and Kyösti Kallio. In 1940 Anderson donated Tamminiemi Villa in Meilahti to the Finnish State to serve as the official residence of the acting President of the Republic of Finland. The building presently houses the Urho Kekkonen Museum.
      Amos Anderson ja Presidentti Urho Kekkonen Amoksen 80-vuotispäivänä.
    2. 1923

      Anderson also ventured into the world of theatre. His debut play Vallis Gratiae was a legend set in the Middle Ages, and premiered at the Swedish theatre in Helsinki in 1923. Over the following decades, he directed a series of plays, culminating in Hugo von Hofmannsthal's The Great Salzburg Theatre of the World, which was performed on several stages in Finland and abroad.
  6. 1930s


    Anderson’s patronage was life-long and extensive in scope. He was closely affiliated with the Swedish theatre and funded its repairs in the mid-1930s. In the 1950s, he took the initiative to establish the Finnish Institute in Rome to promote classical culture and scholarship and provided the funds for procuring Villa Lante, a Renaissance building, where the institute is housed.

    Anderson also made a substantial contribution towards the building of Kunsthalle Helsinki in the late 1920s. Another of his abiding interests was Turku, the town where he spent his youth; numerous University of Åbo Akademi -led projects were funded through his donations. The University showed its gratitude by conferring him an Honorary Ph.D. in 1948.

  7. Presidentti Svinhufvud hirvijahdissa Söderlångvikissä 1935
    1. 1930

      Friend of the Countryside
      Although business kept Anderson in Helsinki, his heart remained in the province of Turku where he spent his childhood. In 1927, he bought Söderlångvik manor in Dragsfjärd on the island of Kimito. The extension of the main building was designed by architect W.G. Palmqvist and carried out in the 1930s. This is where Anderson spent most of his leisure time; his doors were always open for friends and visiting groups.
  8. 1940

    Founder of Föreningen Konstsamfundet

    Anderson, who never married, named Föreningen Konstsamfundet the sole beneficiary to his will. The Association was established by Anderson in 1940 to promote Swedish-language culture in Finland, including music, literature, visual arts, theatre, vocational education and publishing through annual grants. In accordance with Anderson’s wishes Föreningen Konstsamfundet maintains an art museum that carries his name and a museum in Söderlångvik. Anderson’s own collection of 250 works and the interior of his home form the main body of the collections of the two museums.

    Amos Anderson promovoitiin Åbo Akademiin kunniatohtoriksi vuonna 1948
  9. 1961

    Kimito-born Amos Anderson is laid to rest

    Amos Anderson died at Söderlångvik on April 2, 1961 at the age of 82. He is buried in the cemetery of the medieval greystone church in Kimito. His tombstone features a bust designed by Felix Nylund.

Find out more about Amos Anderson

Torsten Steinby: Amos Anderson. Föreningen Konstsamfundets publikationsserie II. Esbo 1979.

Torsten Steinby: Amos Anderson. Press och kultur. Föreningen Konstsamfundets publikationsserie III. Helsingfors 1982.

Torsten Steinby: Elva uppsatser. Föreningen Konstsamfundets publikationsserie XIV. Helsingfors 1993.