EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art was announced Museum of the Year at the annual meeting of the Finnish Museums Association held in Vaasa on 24 May 2018. Five other museums competed for the same prize: the Aine Art Museum in Tornio, the Moomin Museum and the Finnish Museum of Games in Tampere, the Finnish Aviation Museum in Vantaa, and the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki.
According to the jury, "EMMA follows a clear line, it has significant expertise at its disposal and offers a modern and high-level package. The museum's impact is considerably wider than its area of operation and it has grown to become one of the most significant art museums in the country."
Museum Director Pilvi Kalhama is delighted that EMMA has received the prestigious award: "It feels good to win as we have worked consistently for several years with the whole staff to develop the museum: one concrete example is the new extension, which has a permanent storage area that is visible for the public. EMMA is all about doing and audiences have been steadily growing over the past four years. Our participation in the exhibition centre WeeGee as well as long-running collaborations with the Saastamoinen Foundation and the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation have also played a role in the success of EMMA."
EMMA's year 2017 reached a highpoint in November when EMMA, the City of Espoo and the TWRB Foundation opened the Aukio extension together as a new space based on the personal collection and archive of Rut Bryk and Tapio Wirkkala.
The new type of storage area exhibits the artist couple's wide collection and archive from many angles. Aukio is divided between the visible storage and changing exhibitions. The space explores design topics and also allows the public to get acquainted with the work of a museum: the personnel works in an aquarium-like space where the collection is maintained, packaged, researched, conserved, and photographed. In addition, Aukio’s exhibition architecture allows visitors to also conduct their own spontaneous ‘research’ by, for instance, touching different glass surfaces in different design phases, or by building mosaics using a digital application. Read more about the visible storage and exhibition space.
Located in Espoo's Tapiola district, EMMA exhibits Finnish and international modernism, contemporary art, and design. The Exhibition Centre WeeGee is designed by architect Aarno Ruusuvuori in a former printing house and houses four museums, a restaurant, and a museum store.
Photo: Ari Karttunen / EMMA