Instructions for visiting the museum with a group
Visiting the museum is free for under-18-year-olds and the teachers accompanying a group. Students over the age of 18 in secondary education also have free access to the Sinebrychoff Art Museum with a group.
You are always responsible for your group
We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the exhibitions at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum before coming to the museum with your students. As a teacher, you are responsible for the students, which means staying with your group throughout the visit.
Inform us about your group’s visit
Even if you do not book a guided tour for your group, please let us know in advance about the visit of your kindergarten or school group at siffinfo [at] siff.fi. This enables us to make sure that your visit goes as smoothly as possible.
We hope that there will be at least one adult for each group of 25 students and two adults per 10 children in kindergarten groups. Stay together while you are at the museum.
When you arrive at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum
Register at the ticket office on the first floor of the museum. You will receive tickets to distribute to the group. Leave your coats and backpacks in the cloakroom on the basement floor. You can also use our storage lockers with code locks. If you have booked a guided tour, you will meet your guide at the ticket office.
Why is touching the works of art and objects not allowed?
The works of art and objects at the museum are old, unique, valuable and fragile. Grease will come off your hands, no matter how clean they look, and it will be deposited on the surfaces and gradually eat away at them. Keep a distance of an arm’s length between you and the works of art and furniture. In this way, the works are preserved for everyone to enjoy. If you get tired of standing, you can sit on the floor. Leaning on the walls is not allowed in the exhibition spaces.
Food and drink
Please do not eat or drink in the exhibition spaces. Leave water bottles and food items in the cloakroom.
Actively engage with the exhibition
You do not have to be quiet at the museum. Chat away when taking in the works, enjoy yourselves, and experience art with all your senses!
You can ask for writing pads from the ticket office to complete assignments. Photography is allowed, but do not use a flash. Drawing is allowed next to the works.
The museum has a free wi-fi network. You can get the password from the ticket office.
Explore the museum virtually
Below are links to help you explore the museum virtually and get the most out of your visit. These can also be used to set up a remote visit, if it is not possible for you to come to the museum in person.
The Finnish National Gallery website enables you to search for old art and objects by period, artist name, or keyword. You can also create and share your own galleries, for example, based on a project theme.
A virtual guided tour of the house museum enables you to view the spaces before your visit or to return to the themes after your visit.
The Paul’s Friends website enables you to see Paul Sinebrychoff’s favourite works of art in his study.
Get more out of the exhibition on a guided tour
This guided tour offers you an overview of your chosen theme, focusing in more detail on a few topics and works. The guide encourages you to make observations and enter into discussion. A museum trip is about joy, learning, and shared experiences in a group.
Be sure to book your guided tour no later than two weeks before your museum visit. The guided tour can be cancelled free of charge one week before its scheduled date. Non-cancelled guided tours are payable in full.
Guided tour for a school or kindergarten group
Group size: 1–25 people
Duration: 50 minutes
Price: €70 €/group on weekdays (no separate admission fee)
Languages: Finnish, Swedish and English
Enquiries and bookings
Finnish National Gallery service sales
tel. 0294 500 500 (Mon–Fri, 10–14)
Teaching materials and tips
The themes of the exhibitions at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum and the Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff house museum provide a suitable starting point for diverse projects and subjects. The below is a compilation of ideas for projects and museum trips, as well as suggestions for assignments.
The Sinebrychoff Art Museum building and the origins of the collections
The Sinebrychoff Art Museum was originally built as the home of the Sinebrychoff family. Today, it is known as the only museum in Finland to specialise in old European art. Several art collectors have wanted to donate their art collections to the museum. You can explore these collections at the renewed collection exhibition on the second floor.
The most significant of the art collections is the Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff collection, which was, in its time, the largest private donation made in Finland. It includes nearly 900 works of art and objects from the home of the Sinebrychoffs. The Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff collection is on display at the house museum, in the second-floor rooms facing Bulevardi, which are furnished based on photographs taken by Signe Brander in 1912. Exquisite objects and works of art from the house museum are now on display in the exhibition space in the Red Cellar.
The history of collecting
Art collecting was originally a pursuit of royals and nobles. In the 17th century, the zest for collecting spread among the educated and the wealthy tradespeople. Collectors acquired exquisite multi-compartment cabinets-on-stand that were used to store special items, such as various minerals, rare seashells, pearls, gold objects, miniature paintings, and even exotic insects. Art galleries were introduced into castles and manors. Collectors ordered works directly from artists or acquired them from auctions and exhibitions. Works of art were first presented within a small family circle, and then often to a larger audience. In Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff’s time, in the late 19th century, art collecting was already commonplace.
Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff as collectors
Paul and Fanny, with the help of experts, acquired particularly 17th and 18th-century Swedish portraits and miniatures, as well as 17th-century Flemish and Dutch art. The childless couple wanted to fill their home with beautiful objects and works of art, as was the style of the time. The collecting was based on the idea of sharing and education. The couple sought representative works from major artists of each period for the collection. We can read about these exciting art acquisitions in Paul’s letters. This was how Finland’s first collection of art by “old masters” came into being, with works purposefully selected with the help of art experts.
Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff wanted to donate their collection for the common good, and made a donation to the Finnish State in 1921. In 2021, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the donation.
- Ask your friend, have they ever collected anything?
- Have they ever put their collection on display?
- What do you collect?
- Why do you think collecting is, or is not, a worthwhile pursuit?
- Look for information on what people collect these days.
- What do you think is the mood of the room?
- What would be your favourite work? Why?
Assignments on a museum visit or virtual guided tour
- Choose works and objects from the exhibition that you like.
- Consider why these specific pieces have become part of the Sinebrychoff collection.
- What thoughts and feelings do the works evoke in you?
- Collecting says something about a person and their character – what do you think the Sinebrychoffs’ collection and home say about Fanny and Paul?
- subjects, symbolism and techniques in old art
- portraiture as a builder of identity
- miniatures as an art form and a form of communication
- historical periods in interiors
- design in various periods
- craft techniques for various materials (for example, intarsia, carving, turning, and decorative painting)
- fashion through the centuries (suits, lace, collars, wigs, colours)
- royalty during Swedish rule (Queen Christina, Charles XII, Gustav III’s court, Charles XIV John…)
- in the footsteps of Swedish artists (Alexander Roslin, Johan Tobias Sergel, David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl, Carl Frederik von Breda…)
- history of people and places (the Sinebrychoff family, the Punavuori and Hietalahti districts, 19th-century Helsinki)
- industrial history (brewing and construction in the 19th century)
- architecture and restoration…