Lauri Reitz’s widow, Maria, set up a foundation bearing the name of her husband and son in her will in 1971. Her aim in establishing the foundation was to keep safe the collection of art and antiques expertly gathered in their shared home by her arts and antiques enthusiast husband. The foundation’s mission is to maintain an art museum in the family’s former home on Apollonkatu, and to apply any profits to adding to the museum’s collection. Additionally, the foundation has an educational mission, which it fulfils by keeping the museum open to the public and to groups at no charge.
The articles of association state that the foundation’s board must comprise four members. The current members are chairperson Jaana Cawén (MPhil, MSc Econ.), artist Antti Linnovaara (appointed by the Fine Arts Academy of Finland), Leena Lindqvist (MPhil) and Risto Ojantakanen, solicitor.
The foundation makes acquisitions with the aim of complementing and expanding the museum’s collection of objects and artworks. To this end, the foundation actively follows the Finnish and international art and antiques markets. Acquisitions for the collections are made both privately and from auctions.
Quantitatively, the foundation has bought the most paintings and antique silver pieces. The painting collection, for example, with its nearly 200 items, has grown fourfold from the time of the foundation’s establishment. In recent years, significant additions have been made to the foundation’s antique clock and weapon collections, as well.