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Estlander Prize

The Estlander Prize is a distinction instituted by the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design / Design Forum Finland in recognition of significant achievement on behalf of Finnish design. It is named after the Society’s founder, Professor Carl Gustaf Estlander (1834–1910), and is awarded in the spirit of his life’s work and Finnish design.

The gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to persons who have deepened the interaction of design culture with Finnish business and industry in significant ways. The Estlander Prize consists of a bronze medal. The criteria of this distinction underline efforts for promoting the uses of design in business and industry.

The Prize was awarded for the first time in 2000, the 125th anniversary year of the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design. The medal is designed by the artist Tero Laaksonen.

The receivers of the Estlander Prize and medal:

More information:
Laila Alanen, laila.alanen(a), +358 50 548 4114


Carl Gustaf Estlander

Carl Gustaf Estlander (1834–1910) was a gifted son of a clergyman from Lapväärtti, who studied aesthetics at the University of Helsinki under Fredrik Cygnaeus whom he succeeded as professor. His academic achievements, at least in visual terms, included the first lectures in art history ever given in Helsinki at a time when there was still no regular instruction in the subject. Estlander was also the author of the first work on Western art to be published in Finland. Although Estlander's tastes in art may have remained outmoded by the standards of the late 19th century, he had an active interest in human achievement and productivity, and the new industries of the period.

Estlander's interest in modern applied arts was pedagogically oriented. He wanted to raise applied art to the sphere of civilized pursuits, to improve the tastes of craftsmen on the one hand, and the status of applied art among the arts, on the other.

Carl Gustaf Estlander became involved in many pursuits. He established the Helsingfors Dagblad newspaper, which was very influential in its day, followed by the respected journal Finsk Tidskrift, but he preferred to remain apart from boards and chairmanships. The Ateneum building in the centre of Helsinki was his most ambitious project, and was realized as planned. Owing to Estlander's own efforts, the applied arts were given slightly more space in the Ateneum than the visual arts. For many years, the Ateneum in Helsinki was a leading centre of the visual and applied arts in Finland.