At Ateneum, the Helsinki art museum, there is a major centenary exhibition presenting Tove Jansson’s career as an artist, illustrator, political caricaturist, author and creator of the Moomin characters and stories.
The building itself was completed in 1887 and the Finnish Art Society’s collections were first exhibited in 1888. Ateneum’s collections display Finnish art from the Gustavian period of the mid-18th century to the modernist movements of the 1950s. The is also a collection of international art, featuring works by Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gaugin, Paul Cezanne, Fernand Leger and Marc Chagall.
It is quite an impressive building.
I wasn’t the only one waiting to get in.
Photographs were not allowed in the exhibition of the work of Tove Jansson. This is a photo of one of her Moomin illustrations from a postcard.
The exhibition has lots of her illustration work and it is wonderful. I particularly liked the models that she created. You will have to go along to the gallery to see them.
She also did lots of self portraits. This one was on a poster outside the museum.
I think she was a bit hard on herself here. There were lots of photographs taken throughout her life in the exhibition and she was quite lovely.
Tove Jansson was prolific and the exhibition is extensive. Allow yourself plenty of time to see it.
The Ateneum’s permanent collection is on the ground floor and photographs are allowed there. My favourite painting was the Wounded Angel. A good friend had suggested I look for it and I found it immediately. I am not the only one who liked Hugo Simberg’s painting completed in 1903. In 2007 it was voted the most popular painting in the Ateneum.
Another popular work is the tryptich inspired by the Kalevala.
Here is a small selection of the works on the ground floor.
The Tove Jansson exhibition is on until 7th September.