Maire Gullichsen: Regnbågsfärger, mörka stänk. Minnesvandringar 1907–1928 [Rainbow colours, dark shadows. Journeys in memory 1907–1928]

19 March 2009 | Mini reviews

Maire GullichsenMaire Gullichsen: Regnbågsfärger, mörka stänk. Minnesvandringar 1907–1928
[Maire Gullichsen: Rainbow colours, dark shadows. Journeys in memory 1907–1928]
Red. [Ed. by] Cita Reuter
Helsingfors: Svenska Litteratursällskapet in Finland, 2008. 357 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-583-165-1
€ 40, hardback

Maire Gullichsen, née Ahlström (1907–1990), an inheritor of the influential Ahlström timber, paper and metal company, was a prominent promoter of Finnish modern art, design and architecture and an art collector. In 1935, together with the architects Alvar and Aino Aalto and the journalist Nils-Gustav Hahl, she founded the design company Artek, which is still in business today. This book is based on her hitherto unpublished memoirs in which she recorded her life up to her marriage, to Harry Gullichsen, in 1928. Their home, Villa Mairea (1939) in the Ahlström family’s home district of Norrmark (Noormarkku) on Finland’s west coast, was designed by Alvar Aalto and remains one of the iconic examples of organic modernism. This richly illustrated volume gives a lively, detailed picture of a wealthy family during the tumultuous years of rapid industrialisation and struggle for independence in Finland. Maire Gullichsen’s daughter Professor Lilli Alanen and art historian Helen Woirhaye complement the author’s memoirs with articles providing information on the years after 1928.

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