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Finnish Modern Design: Utopian Ideals and Everyday Realities, 1930 - 1997, edited by Marianne Aav and Nina Stritzler-Levine

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Marianne Aav and Nina Stritzler-Levine, editors

This book examines the outstanding design achievements of Finland over the last seven decades, focusing on the central and decisive role played by Modernism. It is the first volume in English to provide a thorough account of the artistic and cultural qualities of Finnish design as distinguished from the design of its Nordic and other European neighbors. Also considered are the principal ideas, individuals, and influences that combined to produce Finnish modernism, as well as its international reception.

The book discusses the renowned work of such Finnish architects and designers as Alvar Aalto, Tapio Wirkkala, Kaj Franck, and Timo Sarpaneva, and of manufacturers including Artek, Arabia, and Marimekko. It features separate discussions of Finnish modernism in design architecture, ceramics, glass, furniture, metal work, jewelry, product design, textiles, and woodworking and concludes with a consideration of the position of design in contemporary Finnish culture.

Marianne Aav is curator of The Museum of Art and Design, Helsinki (formerly the Museum of Applied Arts). Nina Stritzler-Levine is director of exhibitions at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts.

Table of Contents

Susan Weber Soros

Nina Stritzler-Levine

1. The Ambivalence of Finnish Culture
Jari Ehrnrooth

2. The Other Moderism: Finnish Design and National Identity
Harri Kalha

3. Architecture and Modern Identity in Finland
Taisto Makela

4. Objects for Everyday Life: Aspects of Finnish Design Since the 1980s
Susann Vihma

5. Opportunities and Ideals in Modern Furniture Design in Finland
Pekka Korvenmaa

6. National and International Aspects of Finnish Glass
Kaisa Koivisto

7. Simplicity and Materialism in the Design of Finnish Jewelry and Metalwork
Marianna Aav

8. Finnish Textiles en Route to Modernity
Leena Svinhufvud

9. Finnish Ceramics: From Everyday Objects to Art
Marianna Aav and Harri Kalha

10. Finding a Place in a New World Order: Finland, America and the "Design in Scandinavia" Exhibition. 1954-1975
Hildi Hawkins

Catalogue of the Exhibition

Checklist of the Exhibition

Selected Histories of Finnish Companies in the Applied Arts
Compiled by Hannele Nyman


4.30 LBS

Other Details


10.9 x 8.7 x 1 in.

Page count
412 pages, 370 illustrations

Publication date