The Amos Anderson Art Museum is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary by showing its founding donor’s favourites – Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Flemish art from the Renaissance up to the 19th century. The collection reflects Amos Anderson’s interest in religious art, and many of the works once graced the walls of his home on Yrjönkatu Street in the heart of Helsinki. Four years after Anderson’s death in 1965, a museum bearing its donor’s name was inaugurated in his former residence and office building.
The Donor’s Works exhibition is showing forty paintings and sculptures by old masters on the Museum’s fifth floor and in the chapel. Some of the works on display have recently undergone art-historical and technical analysis. The research came up with some new dates and new artist attributions, and also some surprizing revelations when the works were X-rayed and the images studied with conservators. Old artworks are often difficult to study, since they may have deteriorated over the centuries or damaged sections may have been repainted. The results of the research will be published in English to accompany the exhibition. The exhibition’s curator and the editor of the publication is Amos Anderson Art Museum Curator Synnöve Malmström.
Amos Anderson (1878-1961) made his fortune in the newspaper and publishing business. He was a warm and attentive socializer and a lover of art and culture. He was particularly interested in the art, music and rituals of the Middle Ages, and also contributed to the restoration of numerous medieval churches. In 1927, he had a private chapel, with an organ, built in his home. His intensely religious worldview and his fascination with Catholic traditions were reflected in his interest in Italy. It is thanks to him that the Finnish Institute in Rome was founded.