Thu 2/3 - Sun 14/5
Tue  11:00 - 18:00
Wed  11:00 - 20:00
Thu - Sun  11:00 - 18:00

The Fridge of Dreams – food in advertising photographs by the Pietinen studio

A gas stove, a refrigerator, meat and coffee every day. The advertising images of the Pietinen photographic studio from the 1940s, 1950s and the 1960s present exclusive new products that are a self-evident part of everyday life today. Post-war Finland was industrializing and the standard of living was rising. The abolition of food rationing in 1954 brought new products into the market, and more and more Finns could afford more than just the basic commodities. Attitudes towards food and nutrition changed.

New products had to be marketed to buyers. Advertising became more common, and increasingly diverse methods were used. Photography played an important role in selling products, ideas and new lifestyles to consumers. Colour photography first became widely adopted specifically in advertising. Delicious food images conveyed a message of efficiency, ease and plentiful choice. Food and home appliances were presented using attractive product images and scripted situation images. In the final advertisements, photographs depicting small everyday scenes were linked with clever texts to the products being sold. This exhibition highlights the work of photographers who laid the foundations for the advertisements. Photographers with the Pietinen studio also documented food production, such as the selection of coffee beans or the journey of sardines into a tin.

This was a time of innocent consumer optimism when abundance was a virtue. The brand-new, shiny refrigerator bursting with food, together with a smiling housewife, constituted a promise of an easier daily existence and a better life.


The photos are projected at Collection Corner Kuvakulma, next to the exhibition The Festival of Political Photographty 2017: Food