The portrait of former Nokia CEO and Chairman, Jorma Ollila, commissioned by Nokia Corporation was painted in the fall of 2012. During the portrait commission, Gottlieb was hosted at the Nokia Cable Factory in the Ruoholahti district of Helsinki where he painted the chairman in an outfitted studio of the building during scheduled portrait sittings several times a week for a two month period. In between the work schedule, Gottlieb visited the Sinebrychoff and Ateneum Art Museums in Helsinki to view the impressive works of Finnish artists like Albert Edelfeldt, Helene Schjerfbeck and Pekka Halonnen. He toured the Batvik estate, a historic manor on the seaside, west of Helsinki which was restored and now houses the Nokia company’s art collection from the Golden Age of Finnish Art. He also enjoyed strolls down the Esplanadi to the local farmer’s market at the South Harbor that sold fresh morelles, chanterelles, wild blueberries and cloud berries of the season. Other places he remembers well were the familiar Stockmann’s department store landmark and his favorite breakfast place, Fazer, across from the historic Hotel Kamp on Pohjoisesplanadi.
Gottlieb returned 6 months later to varnish the painting and attended the official unveiling ceremony of Mr Ollila’s portrait. The unveiling ceremony for the portrait was held in the spring of 2013 at the Nokia headquarters in Espoo, Finland. Gottlieb arrived early to varnish the painting before it was framed. The frame was Mr Ollila’s personal selection and commissioned to Harri Virtanen in a handsome 19th century style with a dark finish and gold inset liner. The ceremony took place in the adjoining room next to the corporate board room where the official portrait gallery of Nokia’s honored executives is hung. Attending guests to the private ceremony included the chairman’s wife, the present CEO, the present chairman and the former presidents, CEO and executives of Nokia. Also in attendance were honored guests of KONE, Daimler, Pearson and MIT, as well as the celebrated Finnish artist Osmo Rauhala. As a parting gift to the artist, Mr. Ollila gave Gottlieb, the biography of Carl Gustaf Mannerheim.
After the unveiling ceremony, Gottlieb took a special opportunity and invitation to visit Ruka, a ski and resort destination in the north of Finland, only 37 miles from the Arctic Circle, where Nokia introduces visiting guests to a winter wonderland in the warm comfort of splendid round timber log cabins. In addition to skiing, there are snowmobile, reindeer and husky rides, ice fishing and hiking to make you ready for the warmth of the sauna which awaits. Special dinner reservations in the area include Isokenkaisten Klubi for a traditional Russian dinner in nearby Kuusamo and the private studio restaurant, Tundra, of Chef Jarmo Pitkanen. Gottlieb was also fortunate enough to visit during a time to see the Northern Lights, also known as “revontulet” in Finnish, or “the fox tail”.