Helsinki, 12 June - 31 January, 2010

Icons and People

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Thursday 25 June 2009, by Icon Network

Icon Network exhibition 2009 — Helsinki, Finland


Exhibition at The National Museum of Finland, from 12 June 2009 - till 31 January 2010.

A video of the exhibition is available on this web site: Icon-People-Video.html.

Read the presentation of the exhibition on this page:
Lisez la présentation de l’exposition en français :

Press release 11.6.2009

This exhibition compiled by Valamo Art Conservation Institute features icons that were evacuated and collected as memorabilia from Finnish and Russian Karelia during the Finnish-Soviet Winter War of 1939 –1940 and the Continuation War of 1941–1944. The whole range of Karelian folk piety is on display, with prints of images of the saints alongside old, darkened tempera-painted icons.

In addition to icons the exhibits include letters, photographs, a notebook and publications. There are several icons from the collections of the National Museum of Finland now on display for the first time as a collection related to the war years. Exhibits are also on loan from the Orthodox Church Museum, the New Valamo Monastery and private individuals.

Icons and People in the War Years also presents individuals who helped rescue a large number of icons from Karelia, Dvina and Olonets. They include Hieromonk Paavali, later Archbishop of the Orthodox Church of Finland; the ethnologists Tyyni Vahter, Helmi Helminen and Sakari Pälsi; the author Olavi Paavolainen; Bertel Hintze, a prominent figure of the art world in Finland; and the art historian Lars Pettersson, who was later Professor of Art History at the University of Helsinki.

The themes of the exhibition are complemented by a richly illustrated book in Finnish with articles by Katariina Husso MA, Adjunct Professor Kari Kotkavaara, Dr. Žanna Belik, art expert Vladimir Sokratilin and art conservators Helena Nikkanen and Nina Rusakova. The book is on sale at the Museum Shop of the National Museum. Summaries in English.

The exhibition is part of the Icon Network project which is being realized with support from the Culture 2007 –2010 Programme of the European Union. The Finnish Ministry of Education and the Orthodox Church Council have also provided support for the exhibition.

For more information, please contact Exhibition Secretary Satu Frondelius, tel. 050-63838, (09) 4050 9259, satu.frondelius(at)

Working group, Valamo Art Conservation Institute:
Petter Martiskainen, Auli Martiskainen, Helena Nikkanen and the expert panel assembled by the Institute, consisting of Kari Kotkavaara, Žanna Belik, Katariina Husso, Nina Rusakova and Vladimir Sokratilin Working group,
National Museum of Finland:
Matti Aaltonen, Helena Edgren, Jenni Einola, Liisa Erä-Esko, Satu Frondelius, Jouni Kuurne, Marjut Lamminen, Reijo Pasanen, Raija Pirilä Translations: Torsten Edgren (Swedish), Jüri Kokkonen (English)

The press release and press photos are available on the National Museum’s webpages at:

The National Museum of Finland, Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki. The museum is open Tue-Wed from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thu – Sun from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon. closed. Tickets €7,00/4,00, persons under 18 free of charge. Bookings for guided tours, Tue –Fri 9 a.m. - 12 Noon, tel. (09) 4050 9552. Ticket sales tel. (09) 4050 9544, during museum opening hours.

Attached documents