Located in Valkeakoski’s Sääksmäki district, Visavuori was the home and studio of sculptor Emil Wikström (1864–1942), now functioning as a museum. The residential building was completed in 1902 and the studio building a year later, in 1903. Visavuori has remained almost unchanged since the times when Wikström lived and worked there. The decor and artefacts in this exceptional timber dwelling are authentic and allow you to sense the atmosphere of an early-20th-century artistic home.
Gardening was one of Wikström’s passions. The gardens of Visavuori, for both decorative and kitchen use, stretch far and wide, and Wikström also built himself a winter garden and a large greenhouse where he successfully grew fruit such as grapes and apricots. You can book a garden tour for a group at the ticket office.
Visavuori is also home to Kari’s Pavilion, a venue dedicated to cartoonist Kari Suomalainen (1920–1999), Wikström’s grandson. Displayed here are changing exhibits and exhibitions with diverse themes created from Suomalainen’s considerable body of work. Visiting artists’ works are shown in the downstairs exhibition space.
Visavuori has a charming museum café and a gift shop. The café is open every day in summertime, while in the winter it is open only by appointment for groups. Those with limited mobility should note that only Kari’s Pavilion is fully accessible and has a toilet with access for the disabled. The Visavuori gardens and museum grounds are not suitable for people with restricted mobility.
Finnish Silverline cruises stop at Visavuori in the summer, so you can combine your museum visit with a cruise and the beautiful scenery of the lakes Pyhäjärvi and Vanajavesi.
Museum’s 10 Gems
Photos © Miia Hinnerichsen, Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum