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Gallery Receives Large Schjerfbeck Collection

The Finnish National Gallery has received an unusually valuable gift - a large collection of work by Finland's best-known woman artist, Helene Schjerfbeck.

A retired Helsinki doctor, Nanny Kaunisto, donated 78 works of art to the FNG's Ateneum Museum. By far the most valuable part of the collection is a set of 35 drawings and paintings by Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946).

Schjerfbeck is widely respected internationally, and her paintings have fetched significant sums at major auctions in recent years. The donation increases the Ateneum's Schjerfbeck collection to 89 works.

Experts say they are worth almost 12 million euros, while the rest of the collection is worth about three million. Along with the works by Schjerfbeck, the collection also includes work by Ilja Repin, Alfred William Finch, Marcus Collin and Ester Helenius.

The works were collected by Kaunisto and her late husband Yrjö, who was also a physician. He died last year. She also donated a scholarship fund worth 3.5 million euros to the museum in their name.

The Kaunisto collection will be on display at the Ateneum until January.


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