During his lifetime, Professor Fredrik Cygnaeus (1807-1881) was one of Finland's most renowned art collectors. He housed an impressive number of paintings and sculptures from mainly Finnish artists. Upon his death in 1881, Cygnaeus left his vast collection to the state in his will. Thus, in 1882 The Cygnaeus Gallery opened – a display of the professor's great collection and today, the gallery is heralded as the oldest art museum in all of Finland.
Of course, the number of art pieces in the Cygnaeus Gallery has risen fairly drastically since the death of the professor. Currently, the museum houses around 450 different pieces of art donated over the past century. Some of the most famous works are the creations of famous Finnish artists such as painter Helene Schjerfbeck and sculpture Walter Runeberg. There are both permanent and temporary exhibitions at the gallery and quite often, the gallery also hosts concerts. The museum is located within the grounds of the beautiful Kaivopuisto Park in a pretty old villa.
The Cygnaeus Gallery is only open in the summer months from May to September. On days it is open, the hours are 11am to 5pm. The nearest metro stop to the gallery is Kaivopuisto which is about a 200-meter walk away. It is also very near the Olympiaterminaali ferry station.