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A Foundation to Build Its Own House

The plot was already known, but the conservatory building itself was only being planned.

Lobbyn i R-hus

‘It was decided immediately to reimburse the costs of the caretaker Spångberg of Stockholm Konserthuset for the screw models he sent’

  • Board of the Helsinki Conservatory Foundation 27 November 1931

On 1 December 1928, the President of the Republic of Finland had confirmed the rules of the Helsinki Conservatory Foundation, and ‘Senator Th. Wegelius, Architect G. Taucher, Deputy Master Eero Ilves and Deputy Master A. H. Paloheimo were attendant’ at the first meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Directors on 2 January 1929. The most important task of the Foundation was to obtain funding for the building. The site was already booked, but the conservatory building itself was in the early stages of planning.

Arvi H. Paloheimo, Chairman of the Conservatory Board and the Construction Committee, played a key role. Undoubtedly, he was able to make use of his networks and the general positive atmosphere in the young Republic towards cultural institutions. The funding consisted of loans granted by the State and the City of Helsinki and loans granted by banks and insurance companies.

The old document
Lauri Kristian Relander, President of the Republic of Finland, signed the rules of the Helsinki Conservatory Foundation on 1 December 1928. University of the Arts Helsinki / Sibelius Academy archive.

The Foundation’s highest decision maker was the Board of Trustees, consisting of 12 members. Five members came from the Conservatory, five representatives were appointed by the Ministry of Education and two from the City of Helsinki’s Monetary Chamber. Thus the public sector was also well represented in the Foundation and the building project. Practical matters were handled by a board of five persons.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors held regular meetings to promote the building issue. In particular, the meetings dealt with economic and fund-raising issues, but nothing was too small to be dealt with to promote the new Conservatory building. For example, the only issue to be decided at the meeting on 23 May 1931 was that the underside of both balconies will be painted in glossy colour, as proposed by the architect. On 27 November 1931, the Foundation’s Board of Directors decided to reimburse the caretaker of the Stockholm Concert Hall for the costs of the screw models he sent and ‘send him a suitable commemorative gift to show their gratitude for his advice on the chairs in the concert hall’.

Menneisyyden muistia tulevaisuutta varten

Tässä blogissa Riku Hämäläinen kirjoittaa Taideyliopiston muistitietohankkeen vaiheista. Hankkeen tarkoituksena on kerätä entisten ja nykyisten opettajien, oppilaiden ja muun henkilökunnan muisteluita taideopetuksen historiasta, arjesta, toiminnasta, sattumuksista, jne. tulevaisuuden tutkimuksia varten. Filosofian tohtori, dosentti Riku Hämäläinen toimii Historiafoorumin yliopistotutkijana. Hän johtaa muistitietohanketta, johon kuuluu niin uuden aineiston kerääminen kuin jo olemassa olevan arkistomateriaalin saatavuuden parantaminen.

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