On display

Swanljung Collection – Follow Your Heart



Dentist Lars Swanljung (1944–2022) acquired a large collection of contemporary art, which he donated to his hometown Vaasa in 2018.

Swanljung’s passion for visual arts ignited in the late 1980s. The first acquisitions were American pop art, which was followed by works from contemporary Nordic artists. The collection focuses mostly on Finnish art.

As an art collector, Lars Swanljung is characterized by systematicity and open-mindedness. He was particularly attracted by discreet, minimalistic and conceptual art, but the works in the collection also contain humor, sensitivity and edginess. Swanljung was not satisfied with acquiring only what he liked, but challenged himself. In addition to established artists and artists from his own generation, he also looked towards young talents. In the end, purchases were guided by a strong intuition. Swanljung’s frequently asked piece of advice for buying art was: listen to your heart.

The collection Swanljung contains more than 900 works by around 400 artists. On display is a selection of well-known gems from the collection, less exhibited works and the latest acquisitions, which have never been seen before. The exhibition focuses on Finnish art from the 1980s, but there are also a few selections from foreign artists.

The exhibition includes works from the following artists: Josef Albers, Kari Cavén, Carolus Enckell, Kristaps Gelzis, Jorma Hautala, Aaron Heino, Pasi Karjula, Pertti Kekarainen, Tiina Ketara, Jukka Korkeila, Lauri Laine, Marika Mäkelä, Jussi Niva, Paula Ollikainen, Jyrki Parantainen, Mari Rantanen, Silja Rantanen, Anne Tompuri, Marianna Uutinen, Marko Vuokola, Hannu Väisänen.

Image: Silja Rantanen: Sans souci, 1987, oil on canvas. Photo: Seppo Hilpo.