150 years of white sails off the Helsinki shore
The Helsinki City Museum will open an exhibition titled “Out to Sea – 150 Years of Sailing in Helsinki ” at the Hakasalmi Villa, next door to Finlandia Hall, on 27 May 2011.
The exhibition will look at the maritime past of Helsinki from the perspective of yachting as a pastime. Besides boats, yacht clubs, sailors and boat races, the endangered underwater nature of the Baltic Sea, whose cleanliness sailors are working to improve, will be an important topic. The exhibition will also feature the origin of the Finnish blue cross flag, first used by a yacht club.
Yachting became more popular on the coasts of Finland in the mid-1800s alongside with practical seafaring related to fishing, trade and traffic. As elsewhere in Europe, sailing enthusiasts started yacht clubs that have, from the very beginning, promoted seafaring skills, pressed for improvements in the preconditions for sailing and organised sailing competitions. Yachting expanded widely in the society, crossing class and language barriers, and as early as the end of the 1800s, working class sailing clubs were established.
“Out to Sea” will explore yachting from many viewpoints. A central role is naturally played by yachts themselves, which will be presented through drawings, scale models and half hull models as well as photographs. The exhibition will feature famous sailors, boat races and Helsinki-based yacht clubs, among which the main role will be played by the city’s oldest yacht club, Nyländska Jaktklubben, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary. NJK will bring a wide array of objects previously unseen by the general public, such as trophies, to Hakasalmi Villa.
The pictures in the exhibition will show sailing fashion trends and the architecture of the elegant yacht club pavilions. The international community and culture of sailors will become familiar even to landlubbers, who will get the chance to try how it feels to sit in a dinghy and how to navigate at sea.
The exhibition will include a glance at maritime Helsinki, life in the Archipelago as well as the Baltic Sea, seen above water, when gliding on the waves, and beneath the surface. Old photographs and works of art will tell about the fishermen and the life in villas in Helsinki. Besides photographs, you will get to know more about the local underwater environment through aquariums. Today’s sailors are worried about the deterioration of the Baltic Sea, whose prevention will be presented in the exhibition.
The exhibition partners of the City Museum include Helsinki yacht clubs, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the John Nurminen Foundation. The Museum has prepared the exhibition by, among other things, documenting the sailing culture in Helsinki with the help of maritime history students of the University of Helsinki as well as by photographing the activities, boats and buildings of yacht clubs.
Out to Sea
150 Years of Sailing in Helsinki
Hakasalmi Villa, Mannerheimintie 13d, tel. (09) 3107 8519.
Open 27 May 2011–8 January 2012
Wed–Sun 11 am – 5 pm, Thu 11 am – 7 pm.