Born in Kuortane, Finland in 1898, Alvar Aalto was one of the founders of Finnish brand Artek and is recognised today as one of the greatest masters in modern architecture. His long, prolific and varied career was marked by collaborations with almost all key public institutions - town halls, theatres, churches, libraries and universities - as well as standardised housing and private homes. In fact, it was the Paimio 41 Armchair, created in 1931-32 for the Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Paimio, that provided his international breakthrough. Artek was set up in 1935 to market and sell Alvar and Aino Aalto's furniture, lamps and textiles not just to Finnish customers but also to an international market. To this day, Artek still enjoys worldwide popularity and success, with Aalto's innovative designs forming the basis of the collection.