Illustrated by Eric O. W. Ehrström
The Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation’s collection has over 200 linocuts produced by Eric O. W. Ehrström for the texts of E. N. Setälä’s ABC primer. These works, completed in 1923-24, depict animal and fairy tale themes, means of transport, nature and topography. The linoleum plate offered opportunities for varied and detailed work, which gave the images expressiveness and a sense of movement.
Setälä’s “Veikko and Sisko’s ABC primer” was published in a numbered decorative edition for Christmas 1929. A two-part school edition, ABC primer and ABC reader, was published in 1930.
In the early 1920’s, E. N. Setälä was planning general compulsory schooling in Finland. The work on the ABC primer was in tune with the times, although its printing was delayed. The primer is dedicated to Setälä’s son Veikko, who died at the age of five.
Eric O. W. Ehrström (1881_1934) was a versatile artist who designed, among other things, the crown of the King of Finland and the Finnish coat of arms. He was also a keen nature-lover. He photographed and sketched plants and their details, took from them subjects for decorative themes and ornamentation, and drew flora of various kinds.
Eric O. W. Ehrström studied for only one year at the Finnish Art Society’s School of Drawing and then went to study with Axel Gallén at Kalela in 1899-1900. There, Ehrström moved towards art handicrafts and graphics, and Gallén’s influence is evident in the subjects, composition and themes of Ehrström’s work. Apparently, it was through Gallén that Ehrström became acquainted with Gösta Serlachius. Serlachius offered Ehrström work, both a company director and as a private citizen.
In the 1930’s, the childless artist couple Eric and Olga (née Gummerus) Ehrström bequeathed their art estate to the Fine Arts Foundation of Gösta Serlachius, who had acted as their patron. The Fines Arts Foundation’s collection has over 4000 of their works and sketches.
R. Erik Serlachiuksen katu 2, Mänttä
In summertime 1 June–31 August daily 10 am–6 pm, also at Midsummer.
Wintertime 1 September–31 May Tue–Sun 11 am–6 pm. Mondays closed.
Adults 10 €, under 18s free of charge.