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The Year of Glass

The great anniversary of glass and design is celebrated in a big way in Häme in 2021. Iittala Glass Factory, Design Museum Iittala and the Finnish Glass Museum all have their special anniversary this year. This brings many fantastic exhibitions to the noteworthy cultural destinations of Häme for all culture lovers to see.

Design Museum Iittala presents world-renowned classics

Design Museum Iittala has already reached the wonderful age of 50 years! To mark the anniversary, an exhibition in Design Museum showcasing iconic Finnish design items will open in the museum in May. The exhibition is curated by the Finnish Glass Museum.

  • Iconic works and makers of Finnish glass art (7 May–31 December 2021)
    The exhibition provides an overview of the history of Finnish glass design after the Second World War and highlights the iconic objects and their makers. The exhibition contains both works of art and everyday glassware from the production of Iittala, Nuutajärvi and Riihimäki glass factories.

After the museum visit, you can observe the skilful glass blowers from the indoor balcony of the glass factory, as they work on world-renowned design items in the 140-year-old factory. Design items manufactured in the factory are available to buy in the Iittala Outlet located next door. Thanks to various artists and craftspeople, there is plenty more to see in the Iittala Village, such as Kultasuklaa, Naskali Leather and the Exhibition of Naive Art.

Finnish Glass Museum offers a variety of exhibitions

Some of the exhibitions commemorating the 60th anniversary have already opened in the Finnish Glass Museum in Riihimäki, but you still have plenty of time to visit them during spring. Moreover, information on some of the upcoming anniversary exhibitions has already been published, and more exhibitions will follow later this year, once the dates have been confirmed.

  • Jubilee exhibition of Lasismi – Puhaltaa henkiin [Breathing into life] (12. February–18 April 2021)
    Lasismi is a co-operative of six glass blowers that has been operating in the old glass factory of Riihimäki for already ten years. Using a variety a techniques, the members produce artwork for Finnish artists and designers, as well as working on their own designs.

    • The exhibition has a programme of side-events including introductions of Lasismi members and discussions on how to make a living from glass studio activities.  The side events will take place at the Finnish Glass Museum on Saturday 10 April 2021 at 3pm, or alternatively online through video, depending on the situation with Covid-19 and the related recommendations.
  • Tommi Toija – Metamorphoses (12 February–18 April 2021)
    The exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to familiarise themselves with Toija’s recognisable and thought-provoking artwork made of a variety of materials such as wood, clay and metal. You can also see this exhibition virtually.

    • The exhibition has a side event that introduces artist Tommi Toija. The side event will take place at the Finnish Glass Museum on Saturday 17 April 2021 at 2pm, or alternatively online through video, depending on the situation with Covid-19 and the related recommendations.
  • The miracle of Milan (7 May–17 October 2021)
    The exhibition showcases design which led to Finland becoming one of the world leaders in design. The ninth Milan Triennial in 1951 was particularly successful in that various prizes were awarded to Finnish design. The summer exhibition of the Finnish Glass Museum in 2021 throws light on the designs presented in the Finnish booths during the Triennial between 1951 and 1973.
  • Sauli Suomela – Structural Landscapes (7 May–26 September 2021)

In addition to the Finnish Glass Museum, we recommend you visit Hyttikortteli right next to the museum. The idyllic craft centre Hyttikortteli contains the galleries and glass studios of Lasismi and Mafka & Alakoski, amongst others.

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You can also travel to the jubilee exhibitions of Riihimäki and Iittala easily and effortlessly by train. The Finnish Glass Museum is under three kilometres (2.6 km) from Riihimäki railway station. It is a pleasant walk, and alternatively you can rent a city bike from the railway station. Or, of course, you can take your own bike with you on the train. You can also find a taxi rank at the railway station, in which case the journey will take no time at all. The walking distance between Iittala railway station and Design Museum Iittala is under one kilometre (800m).

Virtual guided videos from the glass destinations

The destinations of the Year of Glass can now be explored via virtually guided videos in English and in Japanese. Visit the Finnish Glass Museum, the Iittala Glass Factory and the Design Museum Iittala with a virtual guide.

Watch the guided virtual tour of the Finnish Glass Museum in English

Watch the guided virtual tour of the Finnish Glass Museum tour in Japanese

Watch the guided virtual tour of Iittala Glass Factory and Design Museum Iittala in English

Watch the guided virtual tour of Iittala Glass Factory and Design Museum Iittala in Japanese

This blog is updated whenever new events are confirmed and in accordance with other possible changes.

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