Zoom in on Kekkonen, press photography exhibition in Helsinki

Zoom in on Kekkonen, press photography exhibition in Helsinki
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img. Helge Heinonen courtesy Museovirasto.

At Tamminiemi Museum in Helsinki until 27 December 2020 is on show a new photography exhibition, Zoom in on Kekkonen. Tamminiemi was the official residence of President of Finland from the 1940s till 1986 and converted after that to a museum. And as president Kekkonen lived there from 1956 to 1986 (in power 1956-1981), the museum is mostly connected to him.

18_JOKAOM_Kekkonen_Jussi_Pohjakallio
img. Jussi Pohjakallio courtesy Museovirasto

This exhibition is based on the collection of Finnish Press Photo Archive of Photoconsortium’s member Museovirasto and was curated by Raija Linna. It’s even now current as this year is the 100th anniversary of Finland’s constitutional democrac, as in June 1919 the Finnish Parliament adopted the Constitution Act, which was confirmed by the Regent of Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim on the 17th July 1919.

The press photographs in this exhibition tell the story of a great leader of the people who was the ultimate outdoorsman and a passionate fisherman. The photographs were taken during years 1952–1980, in moments when Urho Kekkonen was off-duty, on holiday, or after the official programme of events or state visits.​ When the formal suit of a statesman came off, the president turned into “Urkki of the people”: an exercising, hunting, fishing, cross-country skiing, virile man of the people, who loved literature and art. The press photographs in this exhibition tell the story of a great leader of the people who was the ultimate outdoorsman and a passionate fisherman. The photographs were taken during years 1952–1980, in moments when Urho Kekkonen was off-duty, on holiday, or after the official programme of events or state visits.

Press photographer Kalle Kultala thought that Urho Kekkonen was unmatched as a photography subject. He had “a healthy need to be seen and heard by the people”. Kekkonen made sure the photographers had something to photograph and the people something to look at. The president became the most photographed man in Finland. Press photographers followed him everywhere, whether to Lapland’s freezing winds on the ice of the Somaslompolo lake or on a holiday on a Caribbean beach.

Website: https://www.kansallismuseo.fi/en/exhibitions/katse-kekkoseen-lehtikuvia

UKK
img. Christian Westerback courtesy Museovirasto
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