Itäinen Rantakatu 38,
WAM is an art museum of the City of Turku, whose varying exhibitions present contemporary art phenomena locally as well as internationally.
In addition to the exhibitions, the museum organises many kinds of art projects, lectures, concerts, workshops, courses, and theme days, such as the popular WAM children’s weekends.
Wäinö Aaltonen (1894–1966) was the most important sculptor in the early years of Finland's independence. Aaltonen made several public sculptures of great national value, including the figures in the House of Parliament in the 1930's. The cityscape of Turku is embellished with a total of 11 outdoor sculptures by the artist. In Runeberg Park stands Turun Lilja (Lily of Turku). Opposite is Paavo Nurmen patsas (Statue of Paavo Nurmi). Aaltonen was a romantic artist whose paintings and sculptures often were of idealised nature and included Cubist features. His portrait production clearly shows the respect he had for the personalities of the people who modelled for him.
The core of the Turku City Art Collection consists of the basic collection donated by Wäinö Aaltonen. It includes drawings, sketches, graphics, paintings and sculptures by the artist, as well as his works from his years at school. The collection is supplemented with acquisitions and donations. In the lobby of the museum, visitors are greeted by one of the larger works of the collection, over four metres tall but still feminine Suomen neito (Maiden of Finland). Works of Aaltonen are on display at different exhibitions, and some of his works are on permanent display at the premises surrounding the atrium of the museum.
The museum building is designed by Irma and Matti Aaltonen. Wäinö Aaltonen himself took part in the designing process. The influence of the artist can be seen in the spacious exhibition rooms that enable the visitors to view three-dimensional art from every angle. When the musealic whole was being planned, specific spaces were reserved for specific forms of art. The upper and lower galleries were planned for miniature sculptures, paintings and graphics. The sculpture hall, 11 metres in height, was planned for large works of art. The sculpture hall has since given unique settings to numerous works of contemporary art, the displaying of which would have been impossible elsewhere. The atmospheric atrium illuminates all the space that surrounds it. Through the large windows, the visitors are able to see the sky or the rippling water of the pool. Susanna, a bronze sculpture by Aaltonen, is kneeling by the pool.
Wäinö Aaltonen collected an extensive library of approximately 8000 volumes. Besides art literature, the committed bibliophile was interested in Finnish and foreign fiction and non-fiction. The oldest book of the library is a doctoral thesis from the 16th century, which says much of the uniqueness of the collection. When the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art was being founded, the private library of the artist was brought to its current location at the premises of the museum.
NB. In accordance with the Finnish Government’s decision WAM has been reopened on the 2nd June 2020. Cash is not accepted for the time being.
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Closed 10.4., 1.5., 19.–21.6., 6.12., 24.–25.12., 31.12.–1.1. Open 30.4. and 18.6. 10:00–15:00.
Accessibility [the criteria]
- Accessible toilet
- Guided tours for special groups by request
- Restricted accessibility: Museoon on esteetön sisäänpääsy. Osaan näyttelytiloista (mm. WAMx) ei ole esteetöntä pääsyä. Museon kassalla on induktiosilmukka.
- Seating inside the exhibition
- Wheelchair on loan
Guided tours in Finnish on Sundays at 2 pm and in Swedish on 30th Aug and on 20 Sep at 3 pm.