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Tuija Peltomaa

Born October 9, 1965, Sotkamo

MA (Art History) 1996, University of Helsinki

Writer, columnist, lecturer
Hourly teacher at Aalto University 2013–
Antiques expert on Antiques TV programme 1997–2014
Auction house work at Hagelstam Auctions 1996–2013
Teacher at the School of Arts and Design 1993–2007
Museum guide 1992–6 (Ateneum Art Museum, Modern Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki Kunsthalle, etc.)

Photo: Tuija Peltomaa
Written by Tero Juutilainen
Translated by Joe McVeigh

My Most Joyful Memories from the University of Helsinki

Tuija Peltomaa’s best memories from the University of Helsinki include both student parties and actual studying.

‘The most fun memories must be the parties we were allowed to organise at the Department of Art History. In particular when we would shuffle out into the early morning light in spring on Helsinki Senate Square. As a matter of fact I think all the parties were fun, with their academic traditions and all the shenanigans that go with them. On the other hand they have left me with bittersweet memories of white wine. At student parties it was usually served warm and sweet, after which I did not touch it. Only years later I have come around enough to admit that not all white wine is that bad, although it is still far from being my favourite drink.’

From the point of view of actual studies, the lectures on Egyptology by Rostislav Holthoer have stayed with Peltomaa.

‘Those lectures were amazing. Holthoer was a professor at the University of Uppsala and the Docent of Egyptology at the University of Helsinki. At his lectures the distant past came alive. Ever since then ancient Egypt has been my favourite period and my hobby.’

In addition to the lectures her studies naturally included many exams. Although none of the titles for the books she was required to read have stuck in her mind, Peltomaa can still remember how reading some of them brought on a burst of inspiration. Her favourite place to study was the Helsinki University Library, which changed its name to the National Library of Finland at the turn of the millennium.

‘At the library there can sometimes be an unbelievable sense of peaceful isolation even though it is right at the centre of the city. Those small alcoves you can tuck yourself into and all the sounds and smells were unique.’

– Watching beautiful things and getting my hands dirty in the garden makes me happy. Photo by Tuija Peltomaa.​
– Watching beautiful things and getting my hands dirty in the garden makes me happy. Photo by Tuija Peltomaa.​


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