Tutta Palin profile picture
Professor, Art History, Musicology and Media Studies
FT (PhD)


+358 40 764 0092
Kaivokatu 12

Areas of expertise

late 19th and early 20th century visual art in Finland
alternative modernisms
portraiture research
photography research
feminist art history
authorship studies


I am Professor of Art History at the University of Turku since 2017, with appointment as full professor since 1 January 2019. Between 1 August 2019 and 31 December 2020 I am on leave of absence doing my own research at the department as a Kone Foundation Senior Research Fellow.

After receiving my PhD in Art History in 2004, I worked at the University of Turku as Professor of Women’s Studies (fixed term), Professor of Art History (fixed term), Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher and Academy Research Fellow, and Senior Lecturer in Art History. I have also worked as a fixed-term Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies and in Art History at the University of Helsinki. I was granted the title of Docent (Adjunct Professor) at the University of Turku in 2006 and at the Åbo Akademi University in 2016.

During my Academy Researcher’s term I held visiting research fellowships at the Humboldt University of Berlin (2011–2012), Kingston University, London (2013), University of Hamburg (2014), and Umeå University (2014).


During my leave of absence between 1 August 2019 and 31 December 2020 I am doing my own research as a Kone Foundation Senior Research Fellow and do not partake in teaching activities.


My research has focused on art in Finland in the 19th and 20th century, ranging in particular from the Naturalism of the 1880s to the High Modernism of the 1950s, and highlighting a Scandinavian and continental context. I have published two monographs on portraiture (2004; 2007) and chapters on modern figurative art and the history of portrait photography, i.e. genres and artistic phenomena with a broader appeal beyond the art field. The emphasis on ”alternative” or ”vernacular” modernisms interlinks with my long-term interest in feminist art history and the social significance of art. My contributions to this area of expertise include a monograph on the Finnish painter Ester Helenius (2016) and a set of articles on early 19th century female artists.

My present personal research project has to do with art writing, artistic strategies and modern publicity (Kone Foundation, 2016–2020). The ongoing project German-Finnish Artistic Relations and Cultural Exchange in the 20th Century, co-led with Professor of Art and Art History at Jacobs University Bremen, Isabel Wünsche (DAAD/Academy of Finland, 2019–2021), is anchored in modernist studies as well.


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