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Closing Schjerfbeck exhibition pulls crowds to Ateneum

The large-scale exhibition of one of Finland’s most recognised artists, Helene Schjerfbeck, closes this Sunday.

School students entering Ateneum Art Museum.
School students entering Ateneum Art Museum. Image: Yle

In its last weekend, the exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of Schjerfbeck's birth is seeing a surge in visitor numbers. At times long queues have piled up on the sidewalk in front of the museum entrance.

An average of about 2,000 people have visited the exhibition during normal weekends. Up to Thursday evening, 215,000 people had come to admire Schjerfbeck’s work.

The biggest attraction in the largest ever exhibition of Schjerfbeck's art is a new painting that was only discovered in September under another painting. The painting – of a woman carrying a child – was promptly hung in Ateneum, among the artist’s more established pieces.

The most popular show to date in Ateneum has been the grand Picasso exhibition in 2009 and 2010, which attracted nearly 315,000 visitors. The most popular Finnish art exhibition was that of Albert Edelfelt, seen by 305,000 people at the turn of 2004-2005.  

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