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The story of the Finnish National Gallery began with the founding of the Finnish Art Society in Helsinki in 1846. In 1939, the exhibition and collection activities were transferred to the Finnish Art Academy Foundation, which operated until 1990, the year that the Finnish National Gallery was founded as a State institution operating under the Ministry of Education. In 2014, the Finnish National Gallery was reorganised into an independent public foundation.
Throughout its history, the Finnish National Gallery has worked to nurture cultural heritage, strengthen the national art collection, and make art accessible to the general public.