1933: Triennale di Milano

The predecessor of the Triennale di Milano was the Monza Biennial, which turned into a triennial in 1929 and moved to Milan, where an exhibition palace was built for the Triennale.

The Finnish Society of Crafts and Design and the Applied Art Association in Finland ORNAMO shared the responsibility for Finland’s section in the 1933 Triennale. Exhibition architect Harry Röneholm’s design was ingenious and suitable for the harsh budget; the exhibition tables were packing cases covered with Enso cardboard that had been painted black, and the display cabinets were ordinary shop cabinets and counters. 50 Finnish companies or creators participated in the exhibition.

Finland received a total of 34 prizes and Harry Röneholm, Elsa Elenius and Maija Kansanen received the Grand Prix prizes. The Italian press praised Finnish design, and both King Victor Emmanuel III and Prime Minister Benito Mussolini visited the Finnish section and purchased Finnish artefacts there. Finland’s success made industrial arts more appreciated among other industries, but the success and the publicity brought by it were not utilised like they would be in the 1950s.