The Gallen-Kallela Museum is a cultural museum dedicated to the work of Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931). Their goal is to raise interest for the artistic heritage of Gallen-Kallela and tell the story of his life and family. According to the museum, the visual heritage of Gallen-Kallela is important to Finnish people and they strive to constantly introduce new angles to view his life’s work.
The Gallen-Kallela Museum’s collections encompass an art collection, a cultural historical collection, Gallen-Kallela’s personal library and an archive including letters, manuscripts, accounting, ephemera and 1,500 photo prints.
The Gallen-Kallela Museum aspires to make its collections as easily accessible as possible. In January 2015, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s birth, they opened the first set of 400 images from its photographic collection for free use on Flickr. As digitization progresses, all of the photographs are intended to be released online.
The museum images have already been reused and remixed and the institution has received feedback from people with additional information on the unidentified or undated images online, which has been very valuable for them. Within a month of the release, there was a pop-up exhibition set up in Eastern Finland. Artisans have made use of the images in jewelry and accessories, and the museum has participated in hackathons to encourage the use of its treasure trove of historical images.
Be sure to visit the Gallen-Kallela Museum’s collection on Flickr to share your comments and insights with them!