Rafael Blomstedt
Museum of Finnish Architecture

BLOMSTEDT, Arno Rafael
(1885-1950), Architect (1908)
Art director of the Central School of Applied Arts 1912-1943 and headmaster 1943-1949. Blomstedt taught e.g. composition and ornamental drawing.

Rafael Blomstedt was appointed as art leader after his good friend Armas Lindgren. From the beginning he strove to establish contacts with the industry of the field. But the industry was not yet fully prepared for it in the 1910s. Blomstedt thought th at it was partly due to that the artists used too much ornaments and lacked in professional skills. Blomstedt emphasized the equal command of technique and art; working hard yourself. Likewise he considered permanent relations between industry and artist to be of vital importance for the results.

  • Several study trips in Europe. Worked for instance at Josef Hoffmann's office in Vienna.

  • Member of the supervisory board and the board of directors of the Finnish Society of Applied Art 1919, secretary 1918-19 and 1921-1937.

  • Chairman of the Finnish Designers' Association 1913-1914.

  • Won Arabia's competition for design of a table setting of 1912. The set was in production for almost two decades.

  • Planned several ecclesiastical buildings and villas. Restorations and repairs of several churches.

  • Designed furniture, silver objects, graphics and textiles.

  • Author of e.g. Blomstedt, Rafael: Suomen taideteollisuus ja Koristetaiteilijain liitto Ornamo (Finnish Industrial Design and the Finnish Designers' Association Ornamo). The Year Book of Ornamo 1927. Porvoo 1927.

The Burial Chapel of Iisalmi Country Parish, 1947
The Burial Chapel of Iisalmi Country Parish, 1947.
©Photograph: Museum of Finnish Architecture