Tove Jansson's Helsinki
Tove Jansson is one of the best and loved Finnish artists of all time and also the most widely read Finnish author in the world. She was a multi talented artist who is mostly remembered as a creator of the Moomins. In addition to the Moomin books and comics she is well known for her short stories and novels. Here's a tour of Tove Jansson's Helsinki.
1. TOVE JANSSON’S CHILDHOOD HOME
Tove Jansson and her family lived in Katajanokka during the years 1914-1933.
2. & 3. TOVE JANSSON PARK / THE USPENSKI CATHEDRAL
Tove used to play by the Uspenski Cathedral and the park next to it. In 2014 the park was finally named Tove Jansson Park. Her home street Luotsikatu used to cross the park.
Satamakatu, Kanavakatu 1
In the winter Tove used to go skating on the ice and later this was also the place where the ferry to Pellinge (where her summer island Klovharu is situated) departed.
5. & 6. ESPLANADI PARK
The water fountain by Viktor Jansson. Tove Jansson stood as model for the larger mermaid of the water fountain Water Nymphs / Play. In Finnish the sculpture is called Aallottaria / Leikki II, and in Swedish Vattennymfer / Lek II. The sculpture is located near the Kappeli restaurant in Esplanadi Park.
Viktor Jansson’s water fountain Hejsan / Snålskjuts can be found at the western part of Esplanadi Park, next to Svenska Teatern.
7. SVENSKA TEATERN / THE SWEDISH THEATRE
Tove Jansson’s friend, theatre director Vivica Bandler had an idea for taking the Moomins into a theatre. Jansson was inspired by the idea and began working on the play based on the first three Moomin books published so far.
29th of December 1949 Tove Jansson’s “Mumintrollet och kometen” premiered. Both the audience and the critics liked the play and it was presented 19 times. However, part of the audience experienced the content and language of the play inappropriate for young children. Nevertheless Mumintrollet och kometen marked a new, interesting and fascinating era for Tove Jansson with all the numerous theatre works.
8. TOVE JANSSON’S STUDIO
Tove Jansson lived her from 1944 until she passed away in 2001. Tove’s life partner Tuulikki Pietilä also had a studio in the same building.
The memorial plaque, commissioned by the Society of Swedish Authors in Finland, includes a relief of Tove Jansson’s face as a young girl sculpted by Viktor Jansson. Studio is not open for public. Take a virtual tour in the studio. Ullanlinnankatu 1
9. THE DESIGN MUSEUM
Tove’s elementary school. Design Museum moved into the building 1978.
10. TOVE JANSSON GALLERY AT HAM, HELSINKI ART MUSEUM
Finland’s first permanent gallery dedicated to the art of Tove Jansson. The exhibition includes two of Tove Jansson’s most important works, the frescos Party in the City and Party in the Countryside, and the oil painting Before the Masquerade and sketches made for the murals in the Aurora Children’s Hospital.
Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8
Tove studied at the art school that is now known as Ateneum from 1933 to 1937. Here Tove also first met Tuulikki Pietilä, her life partner.
12. SJÖJUNGFRU STATUE
Viktor Jansson’s statue, Tove Jansson is said to be the model for the statue.
Eteläesplanadi 22 (courtyard)
13. TOVE JANSSON’S GRAVE
Tove Jansson was laid to rest at Hietaniemi cemetery. You can find her grave next to the old chapel.
Lallukka Artists’ Home, where the Jansson family lived from the early 1930s. Tove moved to her own studio in 1944. Not open for public.
15. KAISANIEMI PARK
The Convolvulus by Viktor Jansson is located in Kaisaniemi Park behind the National Theatre. Smaller version of the sculpture is located in the Hietaniemi graveyard. The title derives from the Latin name of the field bindweed, ‘convolvulus arvensis’, traditionally also known as the lifeline. The work was entered in a competition arranged in 1930-31 by the City of Helsinki to acquire public sculptures.
16. KASARMIKATU 23
Lilla Teatern was located in the courtyard of Kasarmikatu 23 in a small room, which previously had been rented to a small movie theatre Bio Kamera.
Tove Jansson and Vivica Bandler returned to the world of Moomins less than ten years later at Lilla Teatern. Troll i kulisserna (1958) is based on Tove Jansson’s fifth Moomin book Farlig midsommar (1954, eng. Moominsummer Madness). Like the first time Tove Jansson wrote the play and designed the costumes and the setups and Vivica Bandler was the director. The young Ralf Långbacka worked as co-director.
Moomintroll was played by actor Lasse Pöysti from which he rose to fame in Scandinavia and determined for a long time how Moomintroll should be portrayed. From the group back at Svenska Teatern Birgitta Ulfsson took part in the second play as well, this time she played the stage rat Emma. During the Lilla Teatern play the beloved and known Moomin songs were first introduced when Erna Tauro came along and joined the work group.
Troll i kulisserna was a success, and later performances were held in Sweden and Norway.
17. MOOMIN SHOP FORUM
The Moomin Shop is located in the 2nd floor.
Moomin Shop's outside the city centre: Moomin Shop Helsinki Airport (Terminal 2, gate 26-27), Moomin Shop Itis (Itis Shopping Mall, Main Boulevard, 1st Floor).
18. MOOMINS AT THE THEATRE EXHIBITION
The exhibition Moomins at the theatre is about theatre performances of Moomins as well as Tove Jansson’s other theatre works. The exhibition is open until the summer of 2017.
Theatre Museum, Cable Factory, Tallberginkatu 1 G
This article is based on Milla Kallijärvi's Blogs at Moomin.com with a kind permission from Moomin Characters™