ITE - Contemporary Folk Art Museum


ITE – Contemporary Folk Art Museum (ITE Museum) in Finland is a museum dedicated to visual contemporary folk art. The museum was opened in 2001. In the beginning it was a part of the Folk Arts Centre in Kaustinen. Since 2009 the ITE museum has been a department of the Provencial Museum of Central Ostrobotnia in Kokkola. The museum is partly funded by the Finnish Ministry of Culture.

The areas of operation for the ITE Museum have been defined as research, collecting, archiving, publishing and exhibiting of contemporary folk art. The main activities of the museum are run together with the Union for Rural Culture and Education, a nation-wide culture organization, which launched the first ITE art project in 1997. During the three-year survey, over 300 Finnish creators of visual folk art were discovered. New projects appear continuously, with the purpose to survey systematically all the ITE artists throughout the country. At the moment ITE projects has covered half of the country.

The first ITE exhibition was held in 2000 in the Folk Arts Centre. Since then exhibitions have been organised every year, touring in different art museums in Finland. The national breakthrough was the exhibition In Another World in the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in 2005. Works by ITE artists have been exhibited also widely abroad – in London, Paris, Moscow, Budapest, Tallinn, Bratislava, Randers, Gothenburg etc. There are also plenty of books published on this art form by the publisher Maahenki.

The ITE Museum was the main organiser of the Culture 2000 project during 2002–2004, together with partners from Finland, Estonia, Italy, Hungary and UK. ITE Museum is also involved with the EU funded project Outsider Art Past Forward (main organiser is Outsider Art Museum Gaia, Randers, Denmark).

The letters I-T-E mean "Itse Tehty Elämä" = "Self Made Life".

(The website of the ITE Museum is under construction and will be opened in 2011.)

Legal status:
K.H.Renlund’s Museum, City of Kokkola, Finland
Permanent address:
Pitkänsillankatu 1-3 A
67100 Kokkola
Phone number:
+358 40 8644475
Email address:
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Date of foundation: 2001

Type of organisation: Museum