Charter of Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation, 1933
Gösta Serlachius (1876–1942) founded his Fine Arts Foundation in December 1933, making this a jubilee year for the foundation. In the charter of foundation, caring for and maintaining the art collection donated by Serlachius was named one of the main tasks of the Foundation, alongside building an art museum in Mänttä.
Gösta Serlachius also donated a collection of 217 works of art to the Foundation. Of these, approximately 170 items are still in the Foundation’s collection. The donation included many famous paintings, such as Art Connoisseurs in the Louvreby Gunnar Berndtson and Finnish Soldiers in the War of 1808–1809 by Albert Edelfelt. Today, the collection consists of a total of 322 works of art that Gösta Serlachius donated or that were bought from him.
Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s works and items from the Golden Age of Finnish art have a special role in the Fine Arts Foundation’s collection. In the Foundation’s constitutive meeting in 1934, the following guidelines were established: “We will strive to acquire high-quality paintings by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, including his full graphics collection, as well as extremely high-quality works from important older Finnish artists and first-class works by living Finnish artists. Besides, funds are to be allocated for the purchase of valuable works by foreign artists annually.”
Gösta Serlachius had begun collecting art decades before he founded the Fine Arts Foundation. He was a passionate art collector and patron, following artists of his own time closely and supporting young artists he considered promising by purchasing their works. Such young artists included Verner Thomé, from whom Serlachius ordered his portrait (1904) and also bought the paintings Drying the Laundry on a Windy Day and Boys Playing on a Beach in 1909, soon after the artist had completed them. These items, too, were included in the collection Serlachius donated to the Foundation.
Head of collections