Are we all ancient Greeks? Finnish architects at the roots of culture

small exhibition hall

“We are all Greeks”, wrote the English poet Shelley during the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s.

For centuries, the homeland of democracy, Homer and the Parthenon has been considered the foundation of Western culture. Architects, too, have been inspired by antiquity in countless ways. In addition to the temples, they have discovered the simple Greek residential architecture and its long tradition.

The exhibition opens in the Museum of Finnish Architecture’s small exhibition hall in the spring of 2020. Through material from the museum’s own collections, it will present Finnish architects’ encounters with both historical and contemporary Greece. At the same time, the exhibition highlights the significance of Greece as a wider cultural-historical phenomenon.

Since Greece was still at the end of the 19th century a difficult to access travel destination, the concept of Hellas was generally transmitted through the monuments of Greek culture that had been preserved in Italy. In the exhibition, the architects’ experiences are conveyed through their own texts, drawings and travel photos.

The exhibition has been curated by Timo Tuomi PhD.