The theme of this issue of Museo is love. In the editorial, Secretary General of the Finnish Museums Association Kimmo Levä ponders the relationship between love and museums. There are people who love museums and working in a museum, and people who fall in love in a museum. Another thing that love and museums have in common is the fact that people want to experience them together with another person. Few people go to museums alone. According to the latest visitor survey, 85% of museum visitors view the exhibitions together with a friend or family member, or in a group.
A line formed in front of the National Museum of Finland last Valentine's Day when a singles night was organised there. The event, called Match made in Museum, offered an alternative to meeting people in a bar. People found it easier to meet new people when the exhibitions offered them something to talk about.
The singles night proves that museums are changing. The key purpose of museums is to retain our cultural heritage for the future generations, but this does not mean that the current generation may not enjoy them. A museum visit does not have to comply with any specific formula - you can use museums in a variety of ways. A family party in a museum pays homage to art or history.
In a story with a happy ending, the singles night is followed by a bachelor party and then a wedding. The article by Johanna Aartomaa is about museums where you can host different kinds of parties. The article encourages people to find new ways to use museums. In addition to being bastions of civilization, modern museums are places where you can have joyful new experiences. A visit to a museum can be inspiring, or even a party.
Many museums were established for the love of art. Throughout history, private art collections have been going hand in hand with the collections of museums. Museums are backed up by private collections of various sizes that have their part in creating the whole - our idea of our cultural heritage.
The article by Susanna Pettersson studies the history of Finnish museums from the 19th century to the modern day from the viewpoint of private collectors. Collecting art is important for museums and the whole of Finland, now and in the future. Except for a couple of positive exceptions, the funds available for Finnish museums for growing their collections have been almost nonexistent for a long time now.
That is why museums must be capable of closer cooperation and more creative solutions in the future. Getting the future generation of collectors interested in museums is the key. The museum industry, companies and private art lovers must look towards the future together and set sufficiently demanding goals for their activities.
The magazine introduces its readers to Rafaela Seppälä, a modern art collector. She and her husband are creating a collection of art that is unique in Finland in terms of scope. The readers are also introduced to a regular museum visitor who visits a museum whenever possible, most of the time with her own children or with her students. The museum hobby is not limited to Finland: she schedules her trips abroad so that she can visit as many museums as possible.
The attitude of many people working in the museum industry reflects their commitment to museums. An example of this is the head of Heinola Town Museum Kari-Paavo Kokki who studies the world via objects. His interest towards museums and the culture of objects started when he was a small boy, and it led to him becoming a well-known expert of history of style and the study of objects. Kokki says that it is important for people to get in touch with objects.
Volunteers are also a key resource for many museums. Jaana af Hällström writes about the love for one's neighbour, which is the underlying force behind the Helsinki Deaconess Institute Museum. It manifests as the strong commitment of former deaconesses in the preservation of cultural heritage. The volunteers are motivated by the fact that people in the past were able to cope with a variety of conditions and situations. The museum's volunteers have become a strong band of sisters.
The exhibition review article visits the recently opened Helsinki University Museum that offers plenty of nostalgic memories from people's student days and an overview of the history of science. The international article is about the French concept of 'museum mix' where the collections, exhibitions and traditional operating methods of a museum are reformed in a three-day workshop.The magazine also introduces the Museum Card that opens the doors of around 200 museums for an annual fee of €54. Launched in early May, the Museum Card wishes to encourage people to visit new museums or deepen their relationship with familiar ones.