Önningeby Museum, Önningeby in Åland Islands
course in Åland is now over but I want to share the experiences. I got home today after spending a week with 17 other enthusiastic language teachers. We all enjoyed the ‘holiday’ very much. Out dwelling, Åland’s folkhögskola in Finström, is in the middle of nature yet near everything as things are on Åland.
Ålands folkhögskola, Finström
I wrote earlier about Stendahl syndrome, remember? The visit to Önningeby artist colony the other day took me close to another seizure. Önningeby is a small village near Mariehamn, in the Åland Islands, and it was the homestead to an artist colony at the end of the 19th century. Victor Westerholm first invited colleagues to his home Tomtebo in Lemland, Åland. The time is called the Golden Age in the Finnish art history. Önningeby was especially in favour of young female painters who came to stay there from the continent ie mainland Finland. Most of the artists would first study in Finland then in Paris, and they would travel and paint both in Europe and in the home country.
This was the era of landscape painting and artists wished to move away from the bustle of towns. The colony was especially in favour of young female painters of whom Elin Danielsson-Gambogi is the most famous and renown. Other painters to mention are e.g. Hanna Rönnberg, Amelie Lundahl and Dora Wahlros. There were also some Swedish painters that spent summers in Önningeby. The most famous of them is probably J.A.G Acke and the rumour tells that many of the female artists were infatuated by him.
Victor Westerholm’s house by the canal in Lemland.
After the visit to Önningeby we continued to Föglö, one of the municipalities and islands of Åland. On the way we had to take many ferries some of which carried 20 some cars and some only 20 people and a couple of vehicles. The landscapes near Embarsund offer most beautiful sailing routes in Åland.
At the end of the tour our guide, Kjell Ekström, took us to his studio and home in Föglö. Kjell is the very man behind the association of Önningeby Museum, an art expert and connoisseur. He was a terrific guide and help us enjoy the day very much.