The K.H.Renlund Museum is named after the donator of its basic collection. Karl Herman Renlund (1850–1908) left in his will a collection of art and other items to the city of his birth, Kokkola. In 1909, the City of Kokkola decided to establish a museum in his honour based around his collection.
At first, the Renlund collection was placed in the oldest building in the city, the Pedagogy (built in 1696), as a part of the building was set aside to house the collection. In 1946, the museum acquired the use of the entire building, but it was already apparent that the spaces were inadequate for the museum’s needs. In 1962, the city purchased the nearby Roos House, and the Renlund collection was placed on the top floor of the building. After renovations in 1987, the entire house was converted into a museum.
Exhibitions and museum destinations
In addition to the Pedagogy and Roos House, the museum’s permanent exhibitions are on display in the Lassander House. Changing exhibitions are organised on the ground floor of the Roos House and in the Exhibition Hall. Other destinations operated by the K.H.Renlund Museum include the Hakalax home museum and the Home of Fredrik and Anna Drake, where you can admire the interiors of the houses and the item collections on display.
At present, the museum’s collections cover not only the Renlund collection but also other collections focusing on art and cultural history. As the latest addition, a sizeable naïve art collection consisting mainly of Central European art, namely the Zimmer collection, was deposited to the museum. Thanks to the significant donated collections, the museum is extending its profile into an international naïve and outsider art museum.
Museum with regional responsibility
Since 2008, the K.H.Renlund Museum has been known as the Regional Museum of Central Ostrobothnia. In 2020, after the reform of the Museums Act, the K.H.Renlund Museum was named the museum with regional responsibility in Central Ostrobothnia. As the museum with regional responsibility, the K.H.Renlund Museum acts as the official expert on the built cultural environment and archaeology and promotes regional museum operations and regional art museum work. Together with local operators involved in arts and local heritage work, the museum preserves the unique cultural heritage of Central Ostrobothnia.