Susanna Pettersson
Humanist of the day

Susanna Pettersson

Susanna Pettersson began working in museums during her student years back in the late 1980s. In autumn 2014 she took up the directorship of the Ateneum Art Museum / Finnish National Art Gallery. In between times she has amassed a wealth of experience in the museum world, from curator to development director. And in that time the entire field has witnessed a transformation.

Susanna Pettersson

Born August 30, 1966, Helsinki

Doctor of Philosophy (Art History), 2008. PhD thesis title: Suomen Taideyhdistyksestä Ateneumiin. Fredrik Cygnaeus, Carl Gustaf Estlander ja taidekokoelman roolit, (’From the Finnish Art Society to the Ateneum Art Museum. Fredrik Cygnaeus, Carl Gustaf Estlander and the roles of the art collection’), University of Helsinki.

Director, Finnish National Gallery, Ateneum, 2014-
Director, Finnish Institute in London , 2013–14
Director, Alvar Aalto Foundation and  Alvar Aalto Museum, 2010–13
Development Director, Finnish National Gallery, 2007–10 
Senior Adviser, Art Museum Development Unit, Finnish National Gallery, 2001–07 
Chief Curator, Education Department, Finnish National Gallery, 1996–2001
Curator,  Education Department, Finnish National Gallery, 1992-96

Academic activities
Docent of Museology, University of Jyväskylä, 2012–
Visiting Lecturer, Reinwardt Academy/Amsterdam, 2011–

Photo: Kim Varstala
Written by Susanna Pettersson, Kaija Hartikainen (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

“From the point of view of museums, these are not only interesting times but also times full of change. Competing for people’s free time has got more difficult and nothing can be taken for granted. Museums are up against Netflix and washing laundry. I still believe that compelling exhibitions and…

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Teaching, active publishing and positions of trust expand a professional network, form connections and give rise to new ideas. Susanna Pettersson works as a docent of museology and a visiting lecturer, and has a perspective on society, for example, as a board member of the Aalto University.

Pettersson, who has…

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