Kyösti Kakkonen’s design collection to be displayed permanently at WeeGee – this marks a significant expansion for EMMA

Vas. Liisa Hallamaa, sommitelma lautasia. Helena Tynell, Metsä, 1966. Collection Kakkonen © Rauno Träskelin
Vas. Liisa Hallamaa, sommitelma lautasia. Helena Tynell, Metsä, 1966. Collection Kakkonen © Rauno Träskelin

The City of Espoo, EMMA and Kyösti Kakkonen have made a long-term collaboration agreement on displaying Collection Kakkonen, his design collection focusing on Finnish glass and ceramics. The internationally significant Collection Kakkonen features Finnish design from modernism to the present day. The collection opens to the public in November 2022.

Collection Kakkonen focuses on the post-war era, i.e. the so-called golden age of design. During this time, Finnish design also gained more ground internationally. The core of Collection Kakkonen includes unique design, art glass and ceramics and their makers. The collection consists of works from over 30 artists and a total of 10,000 objects. It continues to be expanded. In addition to its extent, the collection is noteworthy in quality – the carefully compiled collection is entirely unique.

Central names included in the collection include Alvar Aalto, Rut Bryk, Kaj Franck, Birger Kaipiainen, Toini Muona, Gunnel Nyman, Kristina Riska, Kyllikki Salmenhaara, Markku Salo, Timo Sarpaneva, Michael Schilkin, Kim Simonsson, Nanny Still, Oiva Toikka, Kati Tuominen-Niittylä, Helena Tynell, Vesa Varrela and Tapio Wirkkala.

Birger Kaipiainen (1915–1988), Kuovi, circa 1968. Collection Kakkonen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Rauno Träskelin

Joonas Laakso (1980), Über ja Fili, 2017–2018. Collection Kakkonen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Rauno Träskelin

 
Modernism is a connecting factor between Kakkonen, the WeeGee Exhibition Centre and EMMA and its environment. The concrete gem designed by architect Aarno Ruusuvuori that is situated in the internationally acclaimed Tapiola Garden City represents one of the finest of modernist Finnish architecture.

“The WeeGee building and its large windows, designed by Espoo’s EMMA and architect Ruusuvuori, offers an excellent setting for displaying my design collection of glass and ceramics. Internationally recognised Finnish masters can get their works – most of them unique – close to nature, literally in its midst. For most of them, nature has been their greatest inspiration,” says collector and Commercial Counsellor Kyösti Kakkonen.

As a collector, Kyösti Kakkonen has carried out a unique cultural deed over the decades, one that will culminate with the collection being displayed to the public permanently at EMMA at the WeeGee Exhibition Centre. The deposition of the collection to EMMA is significant for the City of Espoo; the collaboration results in the WeeGee Exhibition Centre at Tapiola being profiled further as design and architecture hub.

The target group for the new collection exhibition consists primarily of domestic and international visitors interested in design and architecture. Collection Kakkonen will strengthen EMMA as an art museum for significant collections. The permanent collections already on display at EMMA are Saastamoinen Foundation’s art collection and the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation collection.

Kyllikki Salmenhaara (1915–1981), kaksi pulleaa ruukkua, 1950’s. Collection Kakkonen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Rauno Träskelin

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