The Finnish American Heritage Center has an archive full of wonderful treasures each telling a story of their own. On Fridays we present some of these treasures here on The Finnish American Reporter's website and on The Finnish American Heritage Center's Facebook and Twitter accounts for everybody to enjoy!
Last Saturday 28th of February was Kalevala Day. The Kalevala is Finland's national epic, researched and transcribed by Dr. Elias Lönnrot. To celebrate the day we present Kalevala related pictures on our Treasure Friday post.
All the items in the pictures are related to the Finnish painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela (26 April 1865 – 7 March 1931) who is best known for his illustrations of the Kalevala. His work was considered very important for the Finnish national identity.
The painting of the boat on the shore was donated by Gallen-Kallela himself as was the Kalevala book. The prints were donated by a famous Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. Gallen-Kallela visited Hancock, Michigan and Suomi Opisto (now Finlandia University) in February 1924 when he had an exhibition at the Suomi Opisto.
In his letters Gallen-Kallela mentions how odd it was to see some of the signs and names in Finnish while visiting Hancock. On one of the pictures you can see Gallen-Kallela's signatures. He signed his name on pieces of paper while attending a banquet held for him at the Scott Hotel.