For over 70 years, Marimekko has infused art into the clothes and interiors of our everyday lives. Rising from the ashes of WWII, Marimekko’s colorful fabrics and openness to experimentation brought together the textile traditions of Finland with innovative and bold designs based on the changing tastes and aesthetics of the contemporary art world.
Led by a series of Finnish women designers and innovators, Marimekko has successfully blurred the lines between fine and decorative arts, cementing Finland as one of the most important design centers in the world. Radically Marimekko will trace the brand’s path from industrial art house to its present-day status as a fashion icon. Marimekko continues to enhance our relationship with patterns and colors by bringing bold and vibrant sensibilities to life.
The American Swedish Historical Museum would like to thank the following for their contributions, scholarships, donations, and loans to Radically Marimekko. Thank you to Dr. Kirsten M. Jensen and Freja A. Jensen for loaning their collection of Marimekko dresses and for supporting the idea of creating an exhibition dedicated to this iconic Finnish design brand. Thank you to William Eaton for providing special knowledge of Finnish culture and language and for his continued help with the museum’s exhibition panels and labels. Thank you to Kristina Antoniades, Görel Bengtzon, Elisabeth Brown, Ulla Dagert, the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C., Finnair, IKEA US Retail LLC, Connie Martin, Kristina O’Doherty, Karen Reeds, and Kim-Eric Williams for loaning or donating the textiles and objects featured in the exhibition. Radically Marimekko would not be possible without your kindness, generosity, and help. On behalf of the Board of Directors, Staff, and Museum Members, thank you for contributing the joy you feel for Marimekko to this exciting exhibition.
ASHM received financial support for Radically Marimekko from the Finlandia Foundation National, ASHM Auxiliary, Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Finnish-American Society of the Delaware Valley (fasdv.org), Midsommarklubben, and an anonymous foundation. Funding for the American Swedish Historical Museum is supported by grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.
Image captions: Tie (Piccolo cotton fabric), Marimekko, manufacturer 1960-1969, The National Museum of Finland
Piilo Dress, 1966. Annika Rimala (1936-2014). Linssi pattern by Kaarina Kellomäki (b. 1943), 1966. Cotton. Collection of Dr. Kirsten M. Jensen and Freja A. Jensen
Shirt Dress, 1990-2000. Mika Piirainen (b. 1969). Raide pattern by Annika Rimala, 1966. Cotton. Collection of Dr. Kirsten M. Jensen and Freja A. Jensen