Sunday, 21 September 2014

A Kind Gift to the Observatory

Yesterday 20 September, two children of a former director of SGO offered the following painting of the now dismantled main building, painted in 1952 by Ernst E. Leiniö.

The painting (Photo: Thomas Ulich).

That building was located near the present library and administrative offices, in the northern part of Tähtelä. It was used as the main building until the 1980s, before the offices were moved to the administrative building and the ionospheric station, which is situated in Tähtelä-south. Since the early 2000s, Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory has shared the recent Polaria building with the Finnish Meteorological Institute, in the southern part of Tähtelä as well.

The donators enclosed a written statement which recalls the context in which the painting was made, in both Finnish and English. We reproduce this text here:


"LAHJOITUSKIRJA

Me allekirjoittaneet Katri ja Jouni Kataja lahjoitamme äidinisämme Ernst E. Leiniön maalaaman taulun Sodankylän Geofysiikan Observatoriolle. Taulu kuvaa observatorion päärakennusta siinä asussa kuin se oli kevättalvella 1952. Rakennuksen suunnitteli vuonna 1945 Suomen ensimmäinen naisarkkitehti Wivi Lönn. Isämme Eero Kataja toimi observatorion johtajana vuosina 1950-1992 ja äitimme Hilkka Kataja (o.s. Leiniö) sen emäntänä 1950-1955.

Ernst Edvard Leiniö (1893-1962) vietti useita kuukausia vuonna 1952 Sodankylässä ja maalasi tällöin viimeiset taulunsa – Parkinsonin tauti lopetti sekä hänen puusepän että maalarin uransa. Koska tällä taululla ei ole enää meidän jälkeläisillemme samaa henkistä merkitystä kuin meille, haluamme luovuttaa sen laitokselle, jolle se aiheensa perustella mielestämme lähinnä kuuluu.


DEED OF DONATION

We the undersigned Katri and Jouni Kataja donate a painting made by our mother's father Ernst E. Leiniö to the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory. The topic of the picture is the main building of the observatory as it was in the early spring of 1952. The building was designed in 1945 by Wivi Lönn, the first Finnish female architect. Our father Eero Kataja was the director of the observatory in 1950-1992, and our mother Hilkka Kataja (née Leiniö) was its hostess in 1950-1955.

Ernst Edvard Leiniö (1893-1962) spent several months in Sodankylä in the year 1952 and during that time he painted his last pictures – Parkinson's disease ended his career both as a carpenter and as a painter. As this painting does not have the same spiritual meaning to our progeny as it has to us, we want to donate it to the institute to which we think, because of the topic of the painting, it rightly belongs.


Turussa 19. syyskuuta 2014
In Turku 19th September 2014

Katri Kataja, Jouni Kataja"

Unveiling the painting (Photo: Maxime Grandin).

Esa Turunen receiving the painting from Jouni Kataja (Photo: Thomas Ulich).
In the name of Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, we warmly thank Katri and Jouni Kataja for their very kind and touching donation.

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