Einari Junttila (1901-1975) was born in Kittilä. He was internationally known and recognized, self-taught lyrical realist, who is mostly known for his watercolour paintings. He also painted oil colours and pastels. Junttila is the earliest known artist in Kittilä, a sensitive portrayer of Lapland nature who was true to his calling.
Einari Junttila was a talented pianist who also played the harmonium, accordion, guitar and violin. The museum exhibits an old casket of his that contains music pads since the beginning of the 20th century.
Einari Junttila was discovered by a German art historian Gunther Thaer in the early 1930's. Thaer took some of Junttila's paintings to Germany where a leading art magazine applauded this artist from northern wilderness. After this Junttila's exhibitions in Helsinki were successful.
Einari Junttila was a part of the Finnish national art world exhibition that toured Germany in 1934. The exhibition was shown in Dϋsseldorf, Berlin and Hamburg. Junttila's works were displayed together with the works of Wäinö Aaltonen, Werner Holmberg, Fanny Churberg, Albert Edelfelt, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Eero Järnefelt, Marcus Collin and Tyko Sallinen.
Einari Junttila lived his whole life in Kittilä. The painting trips that he made on foot covered nearby fells and streched all the way to Pallaskero and Kilpisjärvi, and later to the mountains of Norway. He provided livelihood for his family of nine people.
The winter war and the years of war after that partly stopped the cultural development in Finland. All attention was directed to the war front where also Einari Junttila fought for five years. There are many paintings in his production that have a war theme in them. He felt comfortable wandering the fells in loneliness, painting Lapland scenery and people for over 60 years until the day he died. The museum exhibits also the works he painted during the last days of his life.
Gunther Thaer, Volk der Wälder (1944), Vom Angesicht zu Angesicht (1952)
Marja Tuominen, Onko Junttilasta lukkariksi (1996)
Einari Junttila 1901-1975: Ei ko maalaa, edited by Kaija Kähkönen. Contributing writers: Heikki Kastemaa etc. Ars Nordica&Pohjoinen, 2002
Terttu Junttila, Muistelmia taiteilijaisästäni Einari Junttilasta (2009)