Like in the Olden Days – the life of children as illustrated by Rudolf Koivu
The exhibition Like in the Olden Days – the life of children as illustrated by Rudolf Koivu at Vapriikki. It focuses on the lives of children in the first half of the 20th century.
On display will be original works and postcard illustrations by artist Rudolf Koivu, along with period objects. This nostalgic exhibition will bring back memories and inspire conversation between grandparents, their children and grandchildren. The exhibition includes interactive elements, memory-jogging opportunities, and a film about Rudolf Koivu’s life.
The exhibition introduces the life of children from different perspectives. The visual ideas by Koivu (1890–1946) appropriately depict the manners and customs of the era. Koivu was very familiar with the world of children as he was a leading illustrator of children’s books in Finland.
Many people were poor, and there was a shortage of basic supplies. Epidemics spread easily, and many people were affected. Taking care of one’s personal hygiene was difficult. Not many people had a bathroom or a toilet of their own. Vermin such as lice, bedbugs and cockroaches were common.
Children’s clothes were often made of grown-ups’ old, worn-out garments. The basic boy’s outfit included knee-length pants and a shirt or a jacket. Girls usually wore a dress reaching to the knees, with an apron on top.
The discipline at school was strict. The teachers were allowed to discipline the children: to pull their hair or slap them on the fingers with a ruler. The most common punishment was standing in the corner or in front of the class. The children had to keep quiet in class. Scaring children was a popular method of discipline when bringing them up. Discipline was strict, because it was believed to be good for the child.
Partners of the exhibition: Art historian Tuula Karjalainen, the Amer Cultural Foundation, Lahti Historical Museum, Ervo Vesterinen and Leena Könönen.