Harvest & Autumn in Turku

 There is an annual tradition of choosing ”The young Artist of the Year” in Finland. The prize is granted by the Tampere Art Museum and the winner at 2013 is Jarno Vesala (b. 1977). He now hosts an exhibition in Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova. Vesala´s works are installations often containing a human figure. By combining sound and moving images, Vesala creates works that emanate atmospheres that can be sensed powerfully.

Jarno Vesala: Raining Behind the Window, 2013, sculpture installation.

The museums art collection i.e. Matti Koivurinta Foundation art collection is an essential part of the work of Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova. The exhibition Blue Velvet presents a snapshot of collections from the 1980s - art, its creators, and the forms it took in works. Instead of being declarative, the exhibition answers the question “How do the 1980s emerge in this art collection, and what is the legacy of that decade?”

Mari Rantanen: Blue Velvet, 1987. Photo: Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Jari Nieminen.

The exhibition ”Letter by Letter – Traces of Reading and Writing” starts in December 2013. It opens up recent research involving literacy, clarifying what we can learn through archaeological artefacts about reading, writing and language in the Middle Ages and after. The illustrations in the exhibition show moments of the history of literacy. Medieval schoolboys making notes on the wax boards and following or not following the lesson. Drawing: Riikka Soininen, 2013.

Information about the medieval buildings in the museum area is gained by regular archeological excavations. Houses in the Convent Quarter were frequently built of stone and brick. Bricks were usually made near the building sites. Sometimes animal footprints are visible in the bricks. They were formed when animals walked on the drying bricks. On the left you can see a footprint of a sheep or a goat and on the left a pawprint of a dog. Photo: Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Ulla Clerc.

Spring in Turku

Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova`s spring exhibition Here and now. Performance art in Finland displays a wide collection of Finnish performance art. There are also live performances like this on by Korean artist Mary Song. The performance was called Black Eyes (kamagnun) and it was a reflection on the nature of language and the tradition of calligraphy. Photo Aboa Vetus & Ars nova / Silja Lehtonen.

On the historical side of the museum, At the End of a Rainbow – Treasures and Treasure Tales is an exhibition that brings together a collection of archaeological treasures and folklore about the magical sphere of treasures and hiding. This silver chalice filled with coins was stashed in Porvoo during the Russian occupation known as The Greater Wrath in 1713-1720. Photo Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Jari Nieminen.

A few years back, we invited people to do their own scarecrows or bird scarers at the museum, in preparation for the summer. This weekend course was part of the exhibition Not to be framed that presented outsider and contemporary folk art from Finland and Europe. Photo Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Johanna Lehto-Vahtera.

We published a new book this winter! Our purple publication opens up a variety of views of the activities of Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, a museum of history and contemporary art. It is written in three languages: finnish, swedish and english. Photo Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Jari Nieminen

Spring is always a busy time in our museum because we have many school groups visiting us as part of their spring field trips. Here are some children looking through the windows of our medieval dollhouse. Photo Ari Korkala / Studio Valoisa Nauris.


Winter in Turku

Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova is a museum of history and contemporary art in Turku. In front of the museum the outdoor sculpture Elephant Square (2011) by artist Hanna Vihriälä welcomes visitors. Photo Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Jari Nieminen.

A private exhibition of Anna Tuori (b. 1976) is on display until January 2013. The melancholic landscape Annabel Lee (acrylic and oil on board, 130x140 cm, 2009) refers to Edgar Allan Poe’s unattainable muse with the same name. Photo Galerie Anhava.

The museum includes an underground area of ruins, where the genuine constructions tell the history of the oldest city in Finland. There are archaeological excavations going on regularly. Photo Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Jari Nieminen.

In the Middle Ages, skates were made of bone. The skate was tied onto shoes with leather straps. A pole with an attached iron tip was used as an aid in skating. Photo Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Seilo Ristimäki, drawing Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Jaakko Karjula.

Christmas time atmosphere in the museum shop. Photo Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova / Jari Nieminen.

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Do you want to join the network as a museum? Then you should feel very welcome!

Before doing so, please read The Operational Guidelines carefully.

Then contact network-manager Ulrika Mebus at ulrika.mebus@gotlandsmuseum.se 


BALTMUS Annual Network Forum 4th - 8th April 2018 in Gdynia City Museum.

 The 2018 Annual Forum of Network of Museums took place in Gdynia City Museum between April 4th and April 8th, 2018. This forum marks the beginning of three-year presidency period for Gdynia City Museum. The task of coordinating the operations of the network bring excitement and expectation of an interesting challenge.

Forum gathered 32 representatives of 11 of the institutions gathered in the Network and five local museums. The first day of the Forum was devoted to the host institution. Our guest were given a curatorial tour of the exhibition “Gdynia – an Open Work”, the core exhibition of Gdynia City Museum. The tour was conducted by Ms. Agata Abramowicz, the Deputy Director of the Museum and one of the curators of the core exhibition. Later they took part in the opening event of the exhibition “Co Widzisz?” (What Do You See?), which uses a great selection from the vast photo collections of Gdynia City Museum to illustrate various roles of photography and the types of human perception. During the event the members of the forum were greeted by the Director of Gdynia City Museum, Dr. Jacek Friedrich, and the Deputy Mayor of Gdynia, Ms. Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała.

The second day, Friday 6th April, was devoted to the conference. First Dr. Łukasz Jasiński presented the international exchange framework entitled “Common Sea – Common Museums”, aimed at promoting peer-to-peer exchanges between the member institutions of the Network. Further discussions concentrated on two key subjects, pre-selected by the guest in an online query: Art, history, education – how to achieve synergy between different activities? And How to appeal to the visitors? In the ensuing discussions the members of the Forum agreed that while multiplying various programs aimed at attracting more visitors to the museums is effective, sometimes it might result in heavy pressure on the museum workers. During the conference Ms. Ulrika Mebus (Gotland Museum), who had coordinated the Network, presented the annual report of the forum and a few remarks of encouragement to the new coordinators from Gdynia.

On Saturday 7th April the members of the conference were invited to join a workshop on the “What Do You See?” exhibition, conducted by its curator, Ms. Agnieszka Pajączkowska. Our guests were given a unique insight into the aims of the exhibition and were encouraged to provide their insights on various elements of the exhibition. Later the group travelled to Gdańsk to visit the European Solidarity Centre, located on the site of the Gdańsk Shipyard famous from workers’ protests against Communist oppression in 1980.

Sunday, 8th April was an extra-curricular day for some of the guests. The programme included a visit in the Emigration Museum in Gdynia, where a curatorial tour was given by Dr. Michalina Petelska, one of the creators of the exhibition. The visit in this modern, narrative museum marked the end of the Annual Forum in Gdynia.

Gdynia City Museum takes the three-year presidency of the Network. We do hope that the success of the April Forum will be a good omen for the next tree years of Forum’s operations.

European Year of Cultural heritage 2018

Council and European Parliament have decided establishing a European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. 

Cultural heritage encompasses resources from the past in a variety of forms and aspects.

The aim of this initiative is to raise awareness of European history and values and to strengthen a sense of European identity. At the same time, it draws attention to the opportunities offered by our cultural heritage, but also to the challenges it faces.


2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

The United Nation has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change. The museums are very imoprtant actors in this respect!


Europa Nostra to Estonian Open Air Museum!


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