Wednesday, 18 April 2018


When in Helsinki, I made a brief visit to the Sinebrychoff Art Museum - a museum I hadn't actually heard of before but ended up thoroughly enjoying. I love discovering new (and pretty) places, and this one was definitely worth experiencing. Although, it may have left me longing for a life I may possibly never be able to live!

Jumper - 2nd hand/Lacoste // Shoes&Velvet leggings - H&M // Woolly socks - Gift made by my godmother

The Sinebrychoff Art Museum was established in 1921 and houses collections that are some of the most valuable in Finland and most internationally remarkable, including works of the Old Masters. (I don't know how I didn't know about this!) In addition to the art, the upstairs rooms are a historic house museum, and as this part of the museum has free entrance, it was the part my mum and I went to see. Although, I would like to check out the rest of the place at another time! For now we were cheap.

The Sinebrychoff family owned a brewery that still exists and is the oldest brewery in the Nordic countries still operating. Which means that they were wild with wealth and the house was one of the most important private houses in Helsinki, and the owners seem to have been avid collectors of art as well as other little things. The house has been restored to look as it did in the 1910s when Fanny and Paul Sinebrychoff lived there. And it is beautiful.

As I was looking at everything around me I realized I don't understand minimalism. If you could have all this, why would you choose not to? I love things, I sometimes have somewhat eclectic tastes, I am most definitely a collector. (A hemulen with some Snufkin-like tendencies, if you want a Moomin analogy.) In a lot of ways - although possibly not always - I think more is more, which made me think of maximalism. Minimalism and Scandinavian design still seem to be so popular and I can admit that sometimes they do look pretty, but they aren't my thing. Maybe maximalism isn't exactly what is my thing either, but an excess of aesthetics definitely sounds more appropriate.

The Sinebrychoff Museum doesn't really represent maximalism in style. It's empire style. And it is extra enough for me to love it. There's wonderful ceiling paintings, French wallpaper, so much art, a miniature collection, pretty books, everything in all the rooms. My favourite was the Empire room from where most of these pictures are from. It is beautifully gold with Egyptian influence, the sunshine through the windows created such a warmth inside the room, the plants looked just right. It was amazing. All I wanted to know is when and how can I move to a place like this. I feel like I blended in quite nicely in my yellow men's Lacoste jumper (that I got for about £1, btw!) and velvet leggings. I am ready to say absolutely no to minimalism and live my dream life in a gold dream place like this.

P.S. My mum's reaction to the Empire room being my favourite: of course it is. My mum's reaction to the little figurines in the furniture: couldn't their dresses have started a bit higher up?

You can find the Sinebrychoff Art Museum at Bulevardi 40 in Helsinki


Sydney said...

I've actually been drawn more and more to minimalism lately, and feel it's misrepresented a lot as it isn't about owning next to nothing in sterile shades of white, but only owning things with meaning instead of mindlessly owning stuff and feeding into consumerist culture. I'm kind of a borderline hoarder and it really stresses me out so minimalism is something I'm trying to take to heart as sometimes collecting can end up controlling you if you're not careful. I'm never going to stop collecting the things I'm passionate about, but I don't want more than that as there's such a freedom to knowing everything you own, you know? Sorry for the ramble but it's been on my mind a lot lately! I really love looking around old houses like this, it looks beautiful! :)

Laura Jones said...

Sydney - i completely get that! and i'm all for not encouraging and partaking in consumerism and only owning things that have meaning to you. but, for me, i think i form attachments and put meaning on almost all the things i own, and just feel like being truly minimalist just isn't for me - it's more about being selective about what i truly like and keep:-) and i definitely get the tightroping between collecting and hoarding, i know i've grown to be more particular about the things i collect as i've gotten older. and not at all, lovely, glad to read your thoughts! and doesn't it! xx

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