Alvar Aalto (1898-1976), one of the founders of Artek, was born in Kuortane, Finland. Alvar Aalto is recognized today as one of the great masters of modern architecture. During his long and prolific career, Aalto's work embraced almost all key public institutions: town halls, theatres, churches, libraries and universities as well as standardized housing and private homes.
Aalto's architecture is distinctively Finnish. It is marked by a warm humanity and strong individuality. His buildings derive their special aesthetic character from their dynamic relationship with their natural surroundings, their human scale, superbly executed details, unique treatment of materials and ingenious use of lighting. Like all great art, however, Aalto's architecture transcends national boundaries. His work is not the exclusive property of Finland: it forms a part of a common cultural heritage of European and worldwide significance.