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Visual arts
Matliisa Jansson-Lehtinen and Tiina Tuulasvaara-Kaleva

Tampere art society was founded in the late 1890s to promote the townspeople's interest in visual arts and to accumulate a collection of art. The interest of the audience and the press in visual arts increased as the number of artists increased and there were more and more exhibitions, as well as a result of the lively debate concerning the paintings in Tampere Cathedral.

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The first museum in Tampere, Häme Museum, opened its doors in 1908. Tampere Artists' Society was founded in the following decade. In an atmosphere more favourable to culture, Häme artists were inspired by their home town and its characteristic factories in addition to landscape painting. An old granary was restored into museum use in 1931; Tampere Art Museum is still located by Pyynikki Square.

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The foundation for Tampere's cultural life was created during the time between the World Wars. In the 1950s the windows were opened to Europe, and artists who had studied abroad introduced new trends to art. The age after the Second World War favoured monumental paintings to public institutions, and so homes for the aged, schools and kindergartens were decorated with large wall paintings. The founding of the Museum of Modern Art in 1966 and the building of Sara Hildén Art Museum in 1979 provided the city with premises to exhibit modern art.

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It took a long time before photography was defined as art. Nevertheless, gentlemen who were both aesthetically and technically interested in photography founded the Fotografiklubben already in the 1890s. The traditions of the club were upheld by Tampere Camera Society since the 1930s.
 

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