Rut Bryk: Candy, 1970. Owner: Akihiro Awahata © Paula Virta / EMMA
Rut Bryk: Candy, 1970. Owner: Akihiro Awahata © Paula Virta / EMMA

Always on display

Bryk & Wirkkala Visible Storage

Bryk & Wirkkala Visible Storage takes a behind-the-scenes look at the invisible work done by museums. EMMA is the home of the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation Collection, which is on display in its entirety in Visible Storage, a unique fusion of a storehouse, exhibition and workspace.

  • Always on display
  • 2. floor
  • 12€ / Adults

    0€ / Under 18s and over 70s

Visible Storage takes a more revealing, in-depth look at the Bryk & Wirkkala Collection and the museum’s behind-the-scenes work than a conventional exhibition. You are welcome to observe the museum’s photographers and conservation team at work in the exhibition space.

Roughly 2,000 items from the Bryk & Wirkkala Collection are on display in chronological order on the shelving around the space. The rest of the collection is stored in crates and on pallet racks on open display. The storage shelves and exhibition space are divided by a transparent wall highlighting archival and scholarly material related to the Bryk & Wirkkala Collection.

In the centre is a changing exhibitions space featuring topical themes that place the work of Rut Bryk and Tapio Wirkkala in dialogue with contemporary design and timeless classics.

The content of the newly refreshed Visible Storage exhibition showcases two of Bryk and Wirkkala’s key sources of inspiration: Nordic nature and the international design scene. Drawing on archive material, the renewed exhibit looks at the birth process and techniques used by Bryk in two of her masterpieces, Corpus Domini (1953) and Banquet Table (1958–1961), while taking a parallel look at Wirkkala’s creative process, his philosophy of form, and his role in the international breakthrough of Finnish design. The exhibit includes art objects, utilitarian design, prototypes, archive material and sketches.
 

The exhibit has been rounded out with the addition of pieces by Bryk that have newly returned from a two-year tour of Japan. A documentary film about Bryk produced for the Japanese tour, Touch of a Butterfly, can be viewed here. Another special highlight is her delectable Candy relief (1970), which has not been seen in Finland for over 50 years. The piece was acquired for a private collection after appearing at Brazil’s São Paulo Biennial in 1973. In 2019 it was purchased in an auction by the Japanese collector Akihiro Awahata, who wished to give audiences the opportunity to see the work in person. 

Working in collaboration with the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation and the City of Espoo, EMMA opened the Visible Storage and its one-of-a-kind collection by Rut Bryk and Tapio Wirkkala in 2017. The space was designed by Johanna Brummer and Heini-Emilia Saari (Wanderlust).

  • Rut Bryk © TWRB Foundation

  • © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

  • Rut Bryk: Forget me not, TWRB Foundation © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

  • Tapio Wirkkala: Leaf dish, TWRB Foundation © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

  • Tapio Wirkkala: Filigrane sketch, TWRB Foundation © Yehia Eweis / EMMA

  • © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

  • Rut Bryk: Hexogon, TWRB Foundation © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

  • © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

  • © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

  • Rut Bryk: Hexogon, TWRB Foundation © Ari Karttunen / EMMA
  • Tapio Wirkkala: Ultima Thule, TWRB Foundation © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

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