Museum of Central Finland

Our personal guide was Saija Silen, the curator of architecture. A great exhibition of the history that inspired and incorporates the design consciousness of the Finns.

The Museum of Central Finland specializes in cultural history. It serves both as the town museum of Jyväskylä and the provincial museum of Central Finland. In addition to two craftsmen's houses situated on its premises, the museum is responsible for the care of the Pienmäki Farm Buildings Museum in Hankasalmi, a School Museum at Jyväskylä Lyceum, Jyväskylä Museum of Municipal Engineering and the home of the Heiska artist family.

The museum was built in two stages. Alvar Aalto was commissioned to draw the architectural plans for it in 1956; the building was opened in May 1961 with interior designs by Alvar Aalto's Architects' Office and Maija Heikinheimo and Marja-Liisa Parko from ARTEK. The extension situated below the oldest part was planned and constructed after Alvar Aalto's death. His wife Elissa Aalto was in charge of Alvar Aalto & Co, which made the designs for the new part opened in December 1990.

Picture archives

Over 270.000 pictures of Jyväskylä and other parts of Central Finland. Most of them are photographs, which have been grouped according to the places and things they show. The Museum has a catalogue of all its pictures, and a computerized register of the details provided of their origin.


Over 1000 main entries, mostly of private documents, the Museum's research archive, and information gathered by Helsinki University Club of Students from Central Finland on their expeditions to their home districts between the 1930s and '60s, among other material. A catalogue has been drawn up of the archives, and computerized registers containing the details of their origin are also available. Tel. +358 14 2664356.

Collections of objects

Over 60.000 items, among them an extensive collection of textiles and medals. The prehistoric and ethnological collections of the former Jyväskylä Teacher Training School (the present University) are also kept here. All collections have been catalogued; the computerized catalogue starts from the year 1986. In addition, the Museum has index files of the local museums in Central Finland. -


Over 6000 volumes of periodicals and literature on various subjects falling within the scope of cultural history. Computerized registers available.