The First-ever. Porthan statue by Carl Eneas Sjöstrand<
The nineteenth century has been called an age of monuments. In some places even one piece made a difference. This book is a study of the intellectual background and physical making of Finland’s first public sculpture, the statue of Professor Henrik Gabriel Porthan by Carl Eneas Sjöstrand. The idealised but sombre Porthan was born under the influence of German neoclassicism. Development on the project was slow but sure. The Swedish artist had to be supported over three years while he was putting together his first monumental piece in Munich and Rome, after which came another three years wait before the cast arrived to Finland. The bronze sculpture, commissioned by the Finnish Literary Society and raised by public subscriptions from people of all classes, was unveiled in the city of Turku in September 1864. Finns took some pride in the fact that, unlike other nations that had raised monuments to kings and generals, here the first place was given to a scholar. In this study Sjöstrand’s pioneering bronze is placed in a wider context and compared with works by his precursors and contemporaries in the international sculptor colony of Rome.Book Details
Church, clergy, and society in Finland, 1600–1800
It is generally recognized that in early modern society, the position of the church and clergy was very central. As many historians have stated over the decades, the church and state were closely connected and their power structures and ideologies supported each other. However, when studying the social and public role of the church and clergy, it soon becomes quite clear how pervasive this phenomenon was. The church not only created but also maintained and acted as a part of international, national, and local communities, structures, and cultures that connected people regardless of their social status and gender. The church was a spiritual, administrative, and social institution and experience environment, whose tasks, scope, and meanings changed and intertwined with the development, needs, and requirements of society. In this book, we investigate from different perspectives the motives and different means by which the church and clergy came to play a significant part in early modern society.
In this volume, the church is considered both as an administrative institution and as a social space and cultural structure. Hence, we do not focus on the history of theology or doctrinal questions. Instead, we consider the social and public roles and meanings of the church. The church as such is understood in this book as transnational, a strong national and local institution, and also a space and structure. The church had its own institutionalized place in society and its activities and rights were defined by law (Church law 1696, the Law of the Swedish kingdom 1734) and by the decrees given by the Royal Majesty. The church had its own archbishop-led administrative organization under the Royal Majesty and it worked in close cooperation with the Crown administration and county governors. In this volume, we understand the clergy as church servants, a trained and appointed professional group, a separate estate (social class), and also as a wide social network constructed by their families.
The approach of this book is social science history. In other words, the book examines the church and the clergy as an integral part of society and the individual communities who lived in the current Finnish territory during the early modern era. The topic is examined on the basis of three conceptual themes reflecting important new areas of research in the study of the social significance of the church and clergy: (1) the clergy and family as part of the community, (2) the church as a jointly built space, and (3) the church as an arena for interaction, knowledge, and politics. We approach this multidimensionality using different research questions, sources, methods, and theoretical approaches. The volume focuses on the 17th to 19th centuries, but many of the church and clergy-related phenomena are much older, and some of them extend to the present, so the articles also move beyond this time frame.Book Details
Humbuggery and madness. The reception of new art in the 1910s in Finland
If the artworld is a battlefield of meanings, the fortunes of discourse did not favour avant-garde art in Finland in the 1910s. The latest trends, introduced by German and Russian artists in three pioneering exhibitions in Helsinki in 1914 and 1916, were dismissed by the Finnish press as foolish and unworthy. This book researches the contemporary reactions and contents of these exhibitions. The works shown in Helsinki included masterpieces from artists such as Chagall, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Marc, Münter and Rozanova. Today these works can be found in the collections of leading museums in Europe, Russia and the USA. From the Finnish perspective, the turndown in the 1910s proved effective and irreversible. Never again have the local collections had similar opportunities to make a purchase. The rejection of radical international developments and emphasis on narrow nationalistic views left Finnish art lagging behind. This trend was already apparent in 1917 in St. Petersburg, where the Finnish artists were celebrated but their paintings deemed sombre and superannuated.Book Details
The Pleasure of the Text. From Reading a Picture to the Act of Writing
The book explores the discourses of modernism, contemporary art and art history writing as well as their interdisciplinary values and boundaries – and cases that do not fit within these boundaries.The articles explore the meanings of junk and relics, high art, design, and the intimate experience of art and public criticism. The themes explored in the book expand our views on the queer potential of colour, the meaning of detail, and the relationships between visual art and writing.
The fourteen peer-reviewed case studies in the volume offer new insights from the fields of visual cultural studies, art history and gender studies. The articles in the anthology do not rely strictly on disciplinary boundaries but also open themselves up to broader fields of culture.Book Details