City Tour &
Art Exhibit at Kunstalle Helsinki Museum

Sunday, February 11, 1996 - 2:00 - 5:00 PM:

After his walking tour early Sunday afternoon, Mr. Napoli was picked up at his hotel by Hannu Taskinen for a driving tour of Helsinki and a visit to the Kunstalle museum to see an exhibition of expressionistic and resistance art in Germany covering the period of 1909 through 1944.

Mr. Taskinen began his tour by driving to the church that his family attends, a major architectural attraction in the city of Helsinki called Temppeliakio or also known as the "Rock Church" because its entire center is cut out of a large rock formation on a hill in Helsinki. Here are some views of this spectacular church where services were taking place as Hannu and Mr. Napoli entered:

Temppeliakio Church

The Rock Church

Temppeliakio Church
Photo courtesy of the Temppeliakio Church


Temppeliakio Church


Photo courtesy of the Temppeliakio Church

Mr. Taskinen next drove Mr. Napoli through several neighborhoods on the hills above the harbor, past several of the foreign embasseys (US, Canda, France, Russia, etc.) and into some secluded areas that were quiet and peaceful, with beautiful homes.

They stopped for coffee and home-made pie at one of the old Helsinki mansions that had been converted into a restaurant, similar in many ways to the Tippecanoe Studebaker mansion in South Bend, Indiana. The restaurant was very busy, but the surroundings were elegant. As they drove back into the city to attend the art exhibit, Mr. Napoli could see the Finnish people's love of the outdoors, as many were strolling along the wooded pathways close the the harbor area, enjoying the bright sun and brisk cold air.

Felix Nussbaum's Self Portrait

"At the Camp"

Feix Nussbaum's Self Portrait
Photo courtesy of the Helsingin Taidehalli

This exhibit at the Helsingin Taidehalli museum opened just the day before - Saturday, February 10, 1996 - and was running until April 14, 1996. It included an extensive exhibition of over 200 paintings and drawings by 77 artists from the German art collection of Marvin and Janet Fishman, an American couple. These artists included such famous names as Otto Dix, George Grosz, John Heartfield, Erich Hecket, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Max Pechstien.

The exhibition focused on the art of the 1920s and the 1930s. After 1933 many of these artists, representing so called "Entartete Kunst" (Degenerated Art), were deprived of the right to continue their work as artists and many died in German concentration camps during World War II. .

The Finnish National Opera

Photo courtesy of the Finnish National Opera

On his drive through Helsinki, Mr. Taskinen also pointed out to Mr. Napoli several other important, historic landmarks, including the Finnish National Opera, which he and his wife often go, and the Sibelius Memorial, a large sculputure by Ella Hiltunin dedicated to the famous Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius.

The Sibelius Memorial

Dedicated to composer
Jean Sibelius

Sibelius Monument


Mr. Taskinen drove Mr. Napoli back to his hotel at about 5:00 PM Sunday and reminded him that he would pick him up again at about 5:45 AM the next day to catch the 7:05 flight to Oulu where Mr. Napoli would give his third anf fourth talks. He also gave Mr. Napoli a new password in order to try again to connect to the Helsinki City Library's PPP Server so he could download his e-mail. Mr. Napoli thanked Mr. Taskinen for all his hospitality and said goodnight.

Once in his hotel room, Mr. Napoli immediately set up his laptop computer and phoned into the Helsinki City Library's PPP Server with the new password. He FINALLY connected and was able to get to his e-mail. You must understand that Mr. Napoli, like many seasoned vetrans of the Internet, is obsessed with this new medium and is on too many listservs where downloading, reading, and responding to e-mail is a continuous daily process like breathing. He is on six listserv (obsessivenss knows no limits!) and it had been over five days since the last time he was able to check the mail from those listservs. When he finally connected at about 5:30 PM Sunday evening, over 580 messages awiated him on the mail server at the St. Joseph County Public Library and it took over one hour of connect time to download them all. Fortunately, it was a local phone call thanks to the Helsinki City Library's PPP Internet server!

About twelve of them required immediate responses. With his message to Joyce Hug, Internet librarian at SJCPL's Main Library, he selected four digital photos of his trip to Finland and sent them with the message. These she connected the next day to a new web page on the SJCPL WWW server for all the staff to see (Joyce is also obsessed with the Internet, although not to the extent that Mr. Napoli is).

Mr. Napoli then went out for dinner and had a small bowl of mushroom soup, large bowl of Raindeer stew, lots of natural wheat bread, and a large glass of dark Finnish beer.

He returned to his hotel room at about 9:30 PM, reviewed the notes for his two talks in Oulu, and decided to make one last check of his equipment. At this point, disaster struck!

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Created 3/21/96; Last Modified 3/22/96