The Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma is part of the Finnish National Gallery, along with the Ateneum Art Museum and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum. The Finnish National Gallery is Finland’s largest art museum organisation. Its activities are governed by the National Gallery Act.
Kiasma organises exhibitions, performances and events. Public programming in Kiasma makes contemporary art accessible to everyone. Its services range from colour play for toddlers to art workshops for grownups to guided tours and events. Kiasma’s extensive educational programming integrates contemporary art into schoolwork.
The museum also houses the Kiasma Library, which specialises in contemporary art, and the Kiasma Theatre, a stage for contemporary live art. Kiasma Club is a free service that anyone can join to earn benefits and discounts on Kiasma services.
Kiasma not only presents contemporary art but also collects and preserves it. Our art collections are part of the collections of the Finnish National Gallery and as such is a significant element of Finland’s cultural heritage. Currently, Kiasma has over 8,500 contemporary artworks in its collections.
Find out more about our activities
Kiasma is a safe place
We want everyone to feel safe in Kiasma.
- other people are treated in a considerate manner.
- everyone is allowed to be who they are.
- all kinds of bullying, harassment, and discrimination are forbidden.
- the staff is there for you. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help or advice.
Kiasma is an art museum for everybody
In all our activities, we seek to ensure that people from all backgrounds can experience art and participate in our activities.
We want to make sustainability and the circular economy a permanent part of Kiasma’s operations. The Finnish National Gallery aims to be carbon neutral by 2035. The National Gallery’s environmental programme is known as the Green Handprint.
1939 The lack of exhibition spaces for contemporary art and the high cost of organising exhibitions leads to the founding of the Contemporary Art Society. The society plays an important role in the art world, especially in the 1950s.
1961 The First ARS exhibition is organised as a collaboration between the Contemporary Art Society and the Finnish Academy of Arts.
1965 The State Art Commission issues a statement on a central museum, with an envisaged site in the Töölönlahti area. The plan remains alive until the mid-1970s.
1975 For the first time, the State takes a stand in favour of a museum of contemporary art. In its operational programme, the State Art Commission states that a centre for contemporary art is urgently needed to remedy the lack of exhibition spaces in the centre of Helsinki.
1986 Young art historians, art history students, critics and artists found the Porkkana Association, which organises concrete spontaneous actions to promote the founding of the museum of contemporary art.
1988 The Commission for a Central Art Museum publishes a report on the founding of a national museum of fine arts. The report includes a proposal for an Act and a Decree on the State Art Museum and the opening date of the Museum of Contemporary Art. The act and decree are adopted in the 1990 draft of the State budget.
1989 A solution for funding the construction of the contemporary art museum is found in a land deal between the City of Helsinki and the State. A working group is established to draw up a plan for the founding of the museum.
1990 The Museum of Contemporary Art becomes operational on 1 September. It is initially housed in temporary premises on Kansakoulukatu and, from May 1991 onwards, in the renovated Ateneum building.
1992 An architectural competition for the design of the museum of contemporary art is launched in the autumn.
1993 From among 516 entries, American architect Steven Holl’s proposal “Chiasma” is chosen as the winner.
1996 Construction of Kiasma begins along Mannerheimintie.
1998 The opening of Kiasma is celebrated in May. On the inaugural weekend, the museum attracts 30,000 visitors.
2011 The total number of visitors to Kiasma exceeds three million.
2019 Record year: 378,509 visitors.
2020–21 The covid pandemic years. Kiasma is closed for renovation throughout 2021.
Kiasma actively collaborates with artists, the public, cultural players and businesses. We believe that by pooling our skills and resources, we can create unforgettable art. Our partners include many Finnish and international art museums, foundations and cultural bodies, urban events, festivals, societies and communities.
Our exhibitions, publications and acquisitions are supported by the Kiasma Support Foundation.