In the exhibition we are greeted by the traces left behind by an art collector. The person behind the vast collection – mainly consisting of paintings, graphics, as well as occasional photographs and sculptures – was Roger Broo (1945–2017). Throughout the decades, he collected art, and the comprehensive collection in its entirety consists of around 400 artworks, stretching from the end of the 1950´s up until the 2010s.
Roger Broo had many assignments and roles. He was a social scientist, worked as a chancellor, and served for more than 30 years as the director of administration at Åbo Akademi University. He was committed to educational issues and had a burning interest in culture. With numerous assignments within various cultural institutions such as the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, the Pro Artibus Foundation and the Turku Art Museum, as well as within the committee for the Amos Anderson Art Museum, he was deeply involved in the art field.
As a collector, Roger Broo followed the evolution of the contemporary art field and frequently visited exhibitions. Through acquiring their works, he supported artists, especially young artists at the beginning of their careers. In the collection, most artists are only represented by one artwork, while artists such as Carina Granlund, Outi Heiskanen, Manno Kalliomäki and Veronika Ringbom are recurring names. Granlund – who lives and works in Ostrobotnia – has portrayed the collector in several portraits. In the painting from 2006 the artist symbolically combines Broo’s private and professional life.
After his passing in 2017, Roger Broo’s widow Harriet Silius – professor in womens’ studies – donated a part of the collection to the Åbo Akademi University Foundation in 2021. The donation comprises of.around 150 works by almost 100 artists. The exhibition presents a selection of works from the collection, and in addition some works that have been donated to the Turku Art Museum.
The exhibition has been produced in collaboration with the Åbo Akademi University Foundation and Vaasa City Museums. The curator of the exhibition is Janna Sirén.
Carina Granlund, Portrait of Roger Broo, 2005-2006. Photo: Annika Welling-Nyberg