The Klaus Holma memorial collection
This collection contains Central and Southern European art and crafts objects rare for Finnish conditions. Minister Harri Holma and his wife Alli donated the collection, named after their son Klaus to the City of Lahti on 14 August 1953. The first part of the donation contained 186 items. In addition, Alli Holma donated items from her home in 1959 and 1963, making the total number of objects 544.
The objects and artworks of the Klaus Holma Memorial Collection were originally part of the furnishings of ambassador Harri Holma's homes in Paris and Rome. They were collected by Alli Holma, who was interested in interior decoration and antiques, together with her son Klaus. Already as a young student, the art historian Klaus Holma became acquainted with the officials of the Louvre and gained much valuable information about the art and antiques market in Paris. Mother and son gradually created their collection from the fleamarkets of Paris and the French countryside and from areas where they knew antiques were best available.
The collection came to Lahti through the active efforts of mayor Olavi Kajala. The City of Lahti offered a suitable venue for the collection and provided Alli Holma with an apartment after the death of Harri Holma.
The donation is subject to the condition of being continuously exhibited and it is on show on the second floor of the Historical Museum.
Harri Holma (1886-1954) became Secretary of Legation in 1919 in Copenhagen, and was later in 1921 the Finnish ambassador to Berlin and Vienna, followed by Paris and Brussels in 1927, the Vatican in 1943, and in Rome from 1948 to 1953. Before entering the service of Ministry for Foreign Affiars, PhD Harri Holma was docent in Assyriology and Semitic philology. He married Alli Hagfors-Haapakoski in 1912.
Klaus Holma (1914-1944) studied at the Sorbonne and University of Helsinki. In 1940, he defended his doctoral dissertation on Louis David's relationship with antiquity.