The fascinating collection of the Riihimäki Art Museum offers a good overview of the works of Finnish artists of the first half of the 20th century. The collection donated to the Riihimäki Art Museum by Tatjana and Pentti Wähäjärvi has many works by artists including Helene Schjerfbeck, Ellen Thesleff, Tyko Sallinen, Jalmari Ruokokoski, Ester Helenius, Eero Nelimarkka, Juho Rissanen, Marcus Collin, Ingrid Ruin, Lennart Segerstråle, Hugo Backmansson, Sigrid Schauman, Verner Thomé, Venny Soldan-Brofeldt and Pekka Halonen. The collection also includes Russian icons from the 19th century, Asian antiques, and smaller wholes, including Egyptian objects. Getting the Wähäjärvi collection to Riihimäki made it possible to set up the art museum and open it to the public in 1995. The collections of the museum also include smaller donations of art and the museum’s own acquisitions. All in all, the museum’s collection includes nearly 2,500 objects and works of art.

In addition to changing exhibitions, the art museum hosts different kinds of lectures, workshops, concerts, and other events for guests of all ages, and the facilities are also suitable for celebrations and corporate events. Visitors are also served by the museum shop Helene.

The activities of the art museum are supported by an active support group, the Friends of the Riihimäki Art Museum Association.


Colour, colour! Toward a Clean Palette – Works from the Early 20th Century from the Collections of the Riihimäki Art Museum 29.5.2021–13.3.2022

The Colour, colour! Toward a Clean Palette exhibition tells about the varied interest in a new kind of use of colours in Finnish art at the start of the 20th century. The exhibition has works of

Verner Thomé, Boys at the Suursaari, 1910. Riihimäki Art Museum, Tatjana and Pentti Wähäjärvi Collection.

the Finnish Septem artists’ group, as well as those of other key artists of the same period on display.

The many changes that took place frequently In European painting in the early 20th century were very influential, and interest was shown also in Finland in the new kind of colour expression and colour-related thinking. This culminated in painting in an interest in the colours of a so-called clean palette and to some extent in the first exhibitions of the Septem group starting in 1912.

Painting in the first decades of the 20th century was nevertheless diverse with a variety of expression. Although there was interest in the new colour theories and in the use of a brighter colour palette, there were other forms of expression as well. Some of the artists boldly tested using colours in a different way, and their art showed new types of goals, but at the same time, respect for the traditions of the art of painting remained central to them. The colour palette of the November Group was closer to some of the artists. The exhibition offers one kind of an overview of a diverse use of colours in Finnish art in the early 20th century.

The exhibition includes works by Magnus Enckell, A.W. Finch, Pekka Halonen, Väinö Hämäläinen, Per Åke Laurén, William Lönnberg, Juho Mäkelä, Mikko Oinonen, Yrjö Ollila, Jalmari Ruokokoski, Tyko Sallinen, Sigrid Schauman, Ellen Thesleff, Verner Thomé and many other artists who worked in the first half of the 20th century. The works are part of the Tatjana and Pentti Wähäjärvi collection at the Riihimäki Art Museum.

Miniature Exhibition: Selectios fron the Collection of Mirika and Seppo Hilpo 8.4.–8.8.2021

Paul Osipow, Nameless, 1979. Riihimäki Art Museum, Mirika and Seppo Hilpo Collection.

Helsinki photographer Seppo Hilpo donated more than 100 works of art to the Riihimäki Art Museum in 2001. Most of the donated works are graphics, but they also include individual paintings by artists such as Jorma Hautala, Marjukka Paunila, Risto Vilhunen and Jukka Mäkelä.

Graphic works in the donated collection are from several renowned artists from Helmi Kuusi to Paul Osipow. The donated works are mostly from the 1960s to the 1990s. The works superbly complement the collection donated to the Riihimäki Art Museum by Tatjana and Pentti Wähäjärvi, most of whose works are from before the time of the Hilpo collection. The collection is called the Mirika and Seppo Hilpo Collection. The miniature exhibition has about 30 works from this collection on display.

Seppo Hilpo focused largely on photographing art. He got to know many artists this way. In his time, Seppo Hilpo photographed many works of art at the Riihimäki Art Museum.

Opening hours:

Tue–Thu 11–18
Fri–Sun 11–17

Entrance fees: 

Adults 7 €
Pensioners 3,50 €
Children (from 7 to 16 years) 3,50 €
Students 3,50 €
Unemployed 3,50 € 
Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) 15 €
Groups (min 20 pers.) 2,50 / pers. 

Riihimäki Art Museum
Temppelikatu 8, FIN-11100 Riihimäki, Finland
+358 19 758 4124

Picture: Helene Schjerfbeck, Factory Girls on the Way to Work, approx. 1921–1922. Riihimäki Art Museum, Tatjana and Pentti Wähäjärvi Collection.