ITE Museum

ITE – Contemporary Folk Art Museum (ITE Museum) in Finland is a museum dedicated to visual contemporary folk art. It’s specialized with Finnish contemporary folk art, called ITE art. The letters I-T-E mean ”Itse Tehty Elämä” = ”Self Made Life”. The ITE Museum shares its premises with the K.H.Renlund Museum in Kokkola. The ITE Museum’s management structure is unique in that the museum’s operations are administered jointly by the K.H. Renlund Museum – Provincial Museum of Central Ostrobothnia and the Association for Rural Culture and Education.

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 K.H. Renlund Museum – 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 Association for Rural Culture and Education, a nation-wide culture organization, which launched the first ITE art project in 1997, for mapping Finnish contemporary folk art. During the three-year survey (1998–2000), over 300 Finnish creators of visual contemporary 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 almost whole the country.

The first ITE art exhibition was held in 2000 in the Folk Arts Centre in Kaustinen. 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 Helsinki in 2005. Works by ITE artists have been exhibited also widely abroad – in London, Paris, Moscow, Budapest, Tallinn, Bratislava, Randers, Stockholm, Gothenburg etc. There are also plenty of books published on this art form.

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 was also involved with the EU funded project Outsider Art Past Forward during 2010–2012; main organiser was Outsider Art Museum Gaia, Randers, Denmark.


ITE Collection
At first, works for the ITE Collection were acquired quite randomly as donations. Purchasing works has widened the scope, making it possible to include works by various interesting artists in the Collection. In addition to the Dallmeier Collection, the ITE Museum hosts about 100 sculptures, some 200 paintings and dozens of photographs.

The Dallmeier Collections
The largest collection at the ITE Museum is the Dallmeier Collection. In 2005 doctors Maija (1944–2014) and Volker Dallmeier decided to part with their valuable collection of European naïve and outsider art, choosing to donate it to the folk art collection at the ITE Museum. The donated Collection belongs officially to Kaustinen community and is hosted by the ITE Museum.

The Dallmeiers started collecting art in the 1970s. Their art collecting took them all over Europe, where they met naïvists and outsider artists whose works are now well-known Europe-wide.

The Dallmeier Collection consists of more than 200 works of art by 57 artists from 17 countries, as well as an extensive collection of books. The artwork includes paintings and small sculptures by artists such as Andre Bauchant, Enrico Benassi, Erich Bödeker, Emerik Fejes, Nikifor, Hector Trotin, Josef Wittlich and Anna Zemankova. There are also works by two Finnish artists, Håkan Brunberg and Enni Id. The theme of the sculpture section of the collection is markedly religious and the majority of the sculptures are from Poland.

In 2013 the Dallmeiers donated almost 100 more works, religious wooden sculptures from Poland, to the Union for Rural Culture, as a part of their ITE Collection. This smaller collection is also hosted by ITE Museum in Kokkola.


In the ITE Museum in Kokkola you can see exhibitions based on the Collections, as well as visiting exhibitions. The Collections are also touring in exhibitions arranged by other museums and art centres in Finland and abroad.

How to find us

The Museum Quarters
Address: Pitkänsillankatu 26-28, 67100 Kokkola
Tel. +35844-7809477, +3586-8289 474, +3586-8289 476

Tue-Sun: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Thurs: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Mon: Closed