A Glimpse of Helsinki – Volker von Bonin’s photos at Villa Hakasalmi in the autumn
Villa Hakasalmi’s next attraction will be an exhibition featuring German-born photographer Volker von Bonin’s iconic and lesser-known photos from Helsinki in the 1950s–1980s.
Opening in October, the Volker von Bonin photo exhibition will give visitors a rare glimpse of Helsinki as it was decades ago. The retrospective exhibition is compiled from the Helsinki City Museum’s collections, featuring both the photographer’s most iconic photos of Helsinki and some of his less frequently seen shots. Von Bonin is known as a humanist photographer whose photos highlight the everyday moments of ordinary people and their urban environment. He also captured plenty of Helsinki’s old buildings and landscapes for prosperity.
Volker von Bonin (1924–2006) was a skilled photographer of the city of Helsinki, whose photos are known today far better than the man himself. Von Bonin settled permanently in Finland in the 1950s, having been hired as a photographer by the printing house Tilgmann Oy. In addition to his work duties, he captured Helsinki and its people in photos. Over the course of a few decades, von Bonin took thousands of photos and created some twenty photo books focusing on Finland and its capital city.
In association with the opening of the exhibition, Helsinki City Museum and Parvs Publishing Ltd will collaboratively publish a biography of Volker von Bonin featuring his photos. The book was written by photo historian Yki Hytönen. The exhibition is produced by Helsinki City Museum’s Chief Curator Tuomas Myrén and designed by Osmo Leppälä.
A Glimpse of Helsinki – The Photos of Volker von Bonin
6 October 2023 – 25 August 2024
Photo: Shoe-shine boys in front of the Railway Station during the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. Volker von Bonin / Helsinki City Museum.