Einari Junttila (1901–1975), a native of Kittilä, was internationally well-known and recognised as a self-taught lyrical realist, renowned especially as an aquarellist. He also did oil paintings and pastels.
Junttila was “discovered” by Günther Thaer, a German art expert, who visited Lapland as a tourist in the early 1930s. Thaer took some of the paintings to Germany where the leading art magazine wrote a rave review of this artist found in the wilderness of Lapland.
Einari Junttila took part in the Finnish National Art World Fair which toured in the German cities of Düsseldorf, Berlin and Hamburg in 1934. In the exhibition, Junttila’s works were on display along with Väinö Aaltonen’s sculptures and the works of Werner Holmberg, Fanny Churberg, Albert Edelfelt, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Eero Järnefelt, Marcus Collin and Tyko Sallinen. Following this, Junttila’s exhibitions in Helsinki were a great success.
The Winter War and the following years of war partly interrupted the cultural development in Finland. The focus shifted to the front, where Einari Junttila also served for five years.
He enjoyed wandering on the fells, in solitude, painting Lapland’s landscapes and people for over 60 years until his death. The works he painted in his final days are also on display in the museum.
The art museum is Einari Junttila’s home and working environment which he rebuilt after the war on the foundations of the house he had constructed in the late 1930s. The art museum was opened in 1991, 17 years after the death of the artist. The museum was founded and is maintained by the artist’s daughter Terttu Junttila. The artist's paintings are at disposal during his birth’s 110-year anniversary.
Ars Nordica Pohjoinen has published a book on the artist’s life work which is the first comprehensive study of Einari Junttila’s life. Of all the well-known artists from Kittilä, Junttila is the first to have this kind of book written about him. The book is available also at the Einari Junttila art museum and other art museums in Lapland.
Sammontie 5 99100 KITTILÄ