The Föreningen Konstsamfundet collection is one of Finland’s largest private art collections. It is managed and maintained by the Amos Rex Art Museum. Today, the collection comprises nearly 6,200 catalogued works, mainly paintings, sculptures, drawings, graphics and photographs. It also includes a range of media and textile art, furniture, glass and ceramics.

The Konstsamfundet collection is based on the personal collection of businessman and art patron Amos Anderson (1878–1961). It included more than 400 works, as well as a separate collection of several hundred medals. After Anderson’s death, the Konstsamfundet association, which he founded and which inherited all of his estate, continued to expand the collection.

Decisions on acquisitions for the collection were entrusted to the Amos Anderson Art Museum, which opened in 1965, and its museum committee, which in the early years had a dominant role in such decisions. Since the Amos Anderson Art Museum became Amos Rex, the new museum has continued its work with Konstsamfundet’s collection. Over the years, two long-term museum directors have been particularly responsible for its profile: Bengt von Bonsdorff (1963-2001 and Kai Kartio (2001-2024). Today, parts of Anderson’s collection are on permanent display at two museums: the Amos Andersons Hem home museum on Yrjönkatu in Helsinki and Söderlångvik, his former summer home on Kimitoön.

Finnish modern art of the 20th century and the various dimensions of art over the past five decades are particularly well represented in the Konstsamfundet collection. It is not intended to provide a complete, all-encompassing picture of the development of art, but instead delves deeper into certain phenomena, periods and artists. For example, art of the early and mid-20th century forms an important focus. There are many works by artists from the November Group and its circle, including William Lönnberg, Ragnar Ekelund and Alvar Cawén. Prominent modernists of the 1930s and 1940s include Sulho Sipilä and Yrjö Saarinen, while the Prisma Group is represented by artists such as Yngve Bäck, Sigrid Schauman, Sam Vanni and Torger Enckell. Abstract aspirations are represented by Ahti Lavonen, Anitra Lucander, Lars-Gunnar Nordström and Juhana Blomstedt, among others. The range of contemporary artists is rich and diverse. Purchases have particularly favoured works by young, experimental artists, with a particular emphasis on painting as well as printmaking.

In addition to its own purchases, Konstsamfundet has received many donations over the years. Donated collections including Felix Nylund’s sculptures, paintings and drawings, as well as paintings and hundreds of sketches by Birger Carlstedt, have had a significant impact on the look and operations of the museum. Thanks to other significant donations, artists Santeri Salokivi, Gunvor Grönvik, Georg Engeström, Olli Lyytikäinen, Rabbe Enckell and Henry Wuorila-Stenberg are well represented. Volker and Maija Dallmeier’s collection of foreign prints from the 1960s and 1970s complements the extensive Finnish graphics section. The Torsten Helsingius donation includes medal art.

And don’t miss the Sigurd Frosterus collection! There is a hall dedicated to it at Amos Rex.