Nearly all public sculptures and monuments
in Mänttä belong to the collections of the Fine Arts Foundation.
Public sculptures adorn Mänttä
The Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation has played an exceptional role in shaping the aesthetics of the town of Mänttä.
Walking through the streets, gardens and cemeteries of the town, you can see works by Emil Wikström, Viktor Jansson, Wäinö Aaltonen, Jussi Mäntynen, Aimo Tukiainen and other well-known Finnish sculptors. Around twenty works of art owned, donated and maintained by the Foundation are located in the town of Mänttä. These public works of art serve as a museum that is ‘free of walls´ and available to all.
When Gösta Serlachius formed the Foundation in 1933, one of the tasks he assigned to it was to adorn the town with public sculptures. The outdoor sculptures owned by the Foundation date from the 1880s to the present day. The collection of public sculptures represents a cross-section of the history of Finnish sculpture from the period of national romanticism to early modernism and modern art.
An Abundance of Artworks by Emil Wikström
The collection of public sculptures was created in the late 19th century when factory owner Gustaf Adolf Serlachius and his daughter Thyra Serlachius ordered works of art from the family's favorite artist, sculptor Emil Wikström. Gustaf Adolf's nephew, mill owner Gösta Serlachius also commissioned works from Wikström. Today, the Foundation owns three public sculptures and maintains two Serlachius tombs, all works by Wikström.
Gösta Serlachius also acquired sculptures from other artists, including Hannes Autere, master of humoristic portrayals of people, Jussi Mäntynen, known for his animal subjects, and Wäinö Aaltonen, the creator of Finnish classicism.
The Foundation has continued its activities in the footsteps of Gösta Serlachius by broad-mindedly acquiring sculptures of contemporary artists and following new trends in sculpture. A good example of this is Aimo Tukiainen's fountain sculpture Texture, unveiled in Mänttä in 1968. The work is among the earliest abstract public sculptures in Finland. The latest modern art piece, Matti Peltokangas' granite sculpture Year 2000, was acquired by the Foundation in celebration of the new millennium