Theatre Museum

Artefact Collections

The Theatre Museum’s Artefact Collections include a plethora of theatre, dance and opera costumes, stage models, and costume and scenery sketches. The Collections include puppet theatre materials, theatre technology, and some examples of old stage sets and props.

The Artefact Collections of the Theatre Museum are built on the collections donated by the Central Organisation of Finnish Theatre Associations and the Finnish National Theatre in 1962 when the Museum was founded. Received as part of these donations, the oldest materials in the Collections include ten dresses used already at the Finnish Theatre in the 1880s. Later, the Collections have been supplemented with donations from theatres, relevant organisations, theatre and dance professionals, and private individuals. The Collections develop constantly with new donations.

Materials in the Artefact Collections

The Artefact Collections include materials from late 1800s to present day, from different areas of theatre. The Costume Collection includes costumes used in theatre, dance and opera, supplemented with drafts and sketches by various costume designers. A variety of accessories and make-up tools used by make-up artists and actors, such as greasepaint, wigs and masks, have given the finishing touch to the costumes.

The Scenery Collection includes scale models and sketches of stage settings, along with flats, set pieces, and a few old backdrops. The overall picture of stage setting is enriched with stage props, like artificial food and crockery. In the Collection there are items of theatre technology such as booster devices, lamps, lighting control consoles, and special effects.

The Collections include also theatre puppets and other artefacts used in puppet theatre performances.

The Theatre Museum’s Information Service will respond to enquiries regarding the Museum’s Artefact Collections.


Since the 1990s, the Museum has particularly sought comprehensive documentation of modern stage performances, while applying an eclectic approach to new acquisitions, assessing the quality and value of the artefacts for future generations. Rather than individual artefacts, the Museum aims to record the surrounding contexts and the overall trends they are related to.