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WEDNESDAY

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God bless the Finns. Or rather, God blessed us with the Finns—particularly Finnish architects, and particularly Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). Few modernists were ever as organic as Aalto, who used materials as metaphors and declared with ingenious simplicity, “Form is a mystery that defies definition but gives people a feeling of pleasure.” Unfortunately, there are only a couple of Aalto buildings in this country, and none in Washington. This city also missed out on the marvelous Aalto show held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York earlier this year. But Peter Reed, who organized the show, will be here tonight to present slides of Aalto’s work and sign the exhibition catalog. It’s the closest you’ll get to seeing Aalto’s best native work in the light of day until next spring. At 6 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $13. For reservations call (202) 272-2448. (Bradford McKee)