AINOLA AS A MUSEUM
In 1972, Sibelius’s daughters sold Ainola outright to the Finnish State for a nominal sum. This led to the establishment of the Ainola Foundation, the body responsible for the museum’s activities, which was founded by the Ministry of Education, the Sibelius Society of Finland and Jean Sibelius’s family. The Foundation’s aim is ‘to preserve Ainola, the home of Jean Sibelius and his wife Aino (née Järnefelt) located in the town of Järvenpää, as it was during their lifetimes, in as unchanged a form as possible; and to cherish their memory and tend to their last resting place at Ainola’. According to the Foundation’s constitution, Ainola’s assets and interests are governed by an eight-person committee selected every third year, made up of three members nominated by the Ainola Foundation, two by the National Board of Antiquities, one by the Municipality of Järvenpää and two by the Sibelius Society of Finland. One of the latter represents Jean and Aino Sibelius’s heirs.
Ainola was opened to the public as a museum in June 1974.
Financially Ainola is reliant above all on ticket sales and on an operating subsidy from the Ministry of Education and Culture. The state subsidy represents approximately one fifth of the total budget. The Municipality of Järvenpää also supports the museum, often with small sums designated for specific purposes. Ainola welcomes some 20,000–25,000 visitors per year.
The activities of the museum centre on the functions specified in the Foundation’s constitution. The museum ensures that Ainola’s homely character is preserved, and that aspects of Sibelius’s everyday life – and the home’s friendly, intimate atmosphere – are emphasized. The museum does not collect new items, but its cabinets contain objects used when the house was occupied: kitchenware, glass and ceramics. The collection at Ainola consists exclusively of items acquired and owned by the Sibelius family. Nor does the museum engage in its own research work, although it offers assistance to researchers, authors and journalists. In 1974 a reception building was erected on site, also providing accommodation for the caretaker. Currently this building, which underwent a thorough renovation in 2010, houses the ticket office, café, museum shop and a small area for temporary exhibitions. In the café the museum occasionally arranges small-scale concerts, and space can also be hired by third parties for various events and meetings.
Source: Irmeli Niemi: ‘Ainola museona (Ainola – Jean ja Aino Sibeliuksen koti, SKS 2004)