/ The Didrichsen Art Museum

Villa Didrichsen – Phase I

The family moved out to “the country” in 1958 into the villa designed by Viljo Revell. He designed not only the house, but all interior details, such as door handles, a built-in toy train, beds, cupboards, dining table and aquarium. All the wood was teak.

The large picture windows brought together the outside with the inside. Revell’s vision was to combine three elements – art, architecture and nature. He used sculpture to adorn the outside grounds instead of decorative flowerbeds.

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Villa Didrichsen – Phase II

In 1965 a wing was added to the villa to house the growing art collection. At the same time the Marie-Louise and Gunnar Didrichsen Foundation was formed, which guaranteed that the collection would continue to benefit the Finnish people.

In 1967 the museum acquired the marble sculpture, The Archer, by Henry Moore. Viljo Revell had also arranged that the same sculpture, only made of bronze and 16 meter high, be placed outside the City Hall of Toronto. He felt a building became complete only by having a Henry Moore sculpture. Here is seen the synergy between Revell and Moore in Canada and Finland.

The opening of the museum in 1965. From right to left Gunnar Didrichsen, President Urho Kekkonen, Marie-Louise Didrichsen, Aune Lindström, Sylvi Kekkonen, Ann Marie Didrichsen, Peter Didrichsen and the president’s aid-de-camp Keijo Tuominen.

The museum today

The founders of the museum are no longer living. Marie-Louise Didrichsen died in 1988, and Gunnar Didrichsen in 1992. Their graves are located on the gentle wooded slope towards the sea. In 1993 the museum was extended into the private living quarters. The museum continues to lend out parts of its collection.

During the years 2013 and 2014 a large renovation project was carried through in the museum building and the surrounding sculpture park. The renovation was made with full respect to Revell’s original architecture.

Today the museum is amongst Helsinki’s most popular art museums and is open six days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday.

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