Guggenheim Helsinki

Welcome to make acquaintance with a vision of Guggenheim Helsinki, a museum of the future. On this site you will find information about the proposed project, its facts and development. You will also find documents related to the project, as well as links to news and related internet sites.

For Finnish art, design and architecture the Guggenheim is an opportunity that arises perhaps once in a century.  City of Helsinki and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in cooperation with Finnish professionals seek to look beyond existing museum concepts to create a museum for the next generation.

Excerpts from the Concept and Development Study for a Guggenheim Helsinki (2011):

“Guggenheim Helsinki would offer the possibility of a dynamic exchange of ideas between Finland, the region, and the global Guggenheim network. … Embodying a distinct view and openness to innovation, the Guggenheim Helsinki would be a place of artistic development and experimentation, offering vitality to the broader foundation network. Exhibitions and programs would be exchanged between the Guggenheim Helsinki, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the other affiliate museums. The Guggenheim Helsinki would take a lead role in organizing certain exhibitions that could then travel to other affiliates, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and other museums around the world. …

The new museum in Helsinki would play an active role in the Guggenheim’s global network. Through its curatorial staff, envisioned as based both in Helsinki and New York, and its connections with the artistic ecosystem of Helsinki, the new museum would generate exhibitions and programs in partnership and dialogue with the other Guggenheim museums. This approach is fundamental to the Guggenheim’s desire to connect audiences to art and reaffirm the radical proposition that art has the potential to effect change in the world.

Opening a Guggenheim museum in Helsinki would also represent a new model within the affiliate structure, offering an opportunity for the Guggenheim Foundation to develop a museum of the future, with cutting-edge, multidisciplinary approaches to exposing new audiences to visual culture. In many ways, a Guggenheim Helsinki could serve as an innovation center for the other affiliates, and what is learned would benefit both Helsinki and the network as a whole. This opportunity would manifest itself in the museum’s environmental and sustainability efforts, use of modern technology, and innovative approach to celebrating visual culture. The Guggenheim Helsinki would also offer a space for artists to explore new ideas about their work and how it is exhibited. In addition to pioneering environmentally conscious approaches to museum operations that, once perfected, could spread to other affiliates, the museum would also experiment with new technologies to enhance the visitor experience. Novel forms of presentation could be especially useful in exhibiting architecture and design, which would benefit from interactive displays and future visual technologies that amalgamate aesthetic merit with simulations of real-world utility. Finland is already a center of innovation in interactive technology, so this approach would be a natural fit for the Finnish audience.

As with all Guggenheim museums, a Guggenheim Helsinki would focus on international art while maintaining a connection to its particular region and national identity. The museum would be informed by Finnish art and design, always in the context of an international outlook. The Guggenheim Helsinki’s connection to local architecture and design would enable curators to delve deeply into these subjects, creating exhibitions that would complement existing Guggenheim programs. With the Guggenheim network seeking to enhance its architecture and design program, the Guggenheim Helsinki would offer innovative approaches to thinking about and exhibiting these important subjects within a larger creative context. A museum with an international orientation and reach, where exhibitions and audiences would mingle without regard to borders, the Guggenheim Helsinki could expand Finland’s artistic and intellectual dialogue and raise the profile of Finnish art internationally. It is expected that this window onto the world for the Finnish community, and portal into Finland for artists and audiences everywhere, would galvanize the cultural life in Helsinki.

With a rich cultural heritage and a commitment to engaging in the future, Helsinki offers a fertile environment in which to create a new museum—one driven by international engagement, artistic vision, multidisciplinary practices, and new ideas. A Guggenheim Helsinki would create a center of learning and exchange with local resonance and international impact. It would fulfill the City of Helsinki’s desire to have a unified cultural center and build upon Finland’s strong national commitment to support the arts. A Guggenheim Helsinki would complement the existing museums and artistic infrastructure in Finland even as it assumes an innovative role. A partnership of this kind has many of the essential elements for success and could provide significant opportunities for the City of Helsinki and the Nordic region, as well as the Guggenheim Foundation and its network of affiliates.”

SOURCE: Concept and Development Study for a Guggenheim Helsinki, 2011, pp 18-19

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