Special exhibition

Punkaharju in postcards

Punkaharju is a major tourist destination which represents Finland’s national landscape, but how did it look in old postcards? Those that have survived intact reflect the culture, attitudes, values, worldview and beauty of their time, and the pictures and greetings have much to tell about the fashions, buildings and interior styles of the day. They open a historical window into people’s lives and the way that they thought about the world, and so function as pictorial memories.

Postcards have been sent within Finland since the 1870s and postcards of Punkaharju have been published since the late 19th century.

Around 500 different postcards of Punkaharju were published before the 1960s and the popularisation of colour photography, which proves its position as one of Finland’s most popular tourist areas. The subjects of Punkaharju postcards have been many different angles of the esker itself as well as the view from the esker looking in different directions to the lake, historically-significant buildings, beaches and the campsite. Seasonal variations have also been represented, along with a number of aerial views.

The Punkaharju in postcards exhibition will be held in Lusto and Hotel Punkaharju. Lusto will display pictures of postcards and their messages on a map of Punkaharju. There are 40 postcards on show in Hotel Punkaharju, each with a recent photo from the same perspective.

The cards are from Nuutti Kanerva’s Punkaharju postcard collection, which is comprised of about 600 cards with different themes, mostly from before the 1960s. Kanerva has collected the postcards from flea markets, antique bookstores and Internet web sites, while some have been inherited from his childhood home. He has also taken the photos that accompany the postcards in the hotel.

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