Architecture from the Swedish Era in Finnish Art Historical Dissertations: A Case Study

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Finland was a part of Sweden until the war of 1808–1809, and the buildings erected during the Swedish rule are arguably a part of both countries common history of architecture. However, research in architecture from before 1809 is not very common in Finnish art historical dissertations. The aim of this study is to examine reasons for why the architecture from the so-called “Swedish era” has not been examined to a greater extent in Finnish art historical research. A main hypothesis is that doctoral research on architecture has been directed towards themes related to the nationalistic canon, which have a focus on the historical development after 1809. The study is based on a historiographic examination of all art historical dissertations on architecture, and the statistics on research subjects are contextualised through a comparison of the choices of subjects with the development of ideology in Finnish art history and art canon. The survey shows that it is possible to connect the statistic results to the development of ideologies and values in Finnish art history. The ongoing focus on constructing a national canon of art during the nineteenth and twentieth century affected the definition of what could be seen as architecture, and most of all, as Finnish architecture.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)29–43
JournalKonsthistorisk tidskrift/Journal of Art History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Historiography
  • Architecture
  • nationalism
  • Canon
  • Ideologi

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