PREVIEW: Tove Jansson: From Painting to the Moomins, Dulwich Picture Gallery

The Dulwich Picture Gallery will present the first major retrospective of the respected illustrator Tove Jansson from the 25th October. 

BCA_Framed1_Moomin_on_the _Riviera_02.jpg
Tove Jansson, comic strip Moomin on the Riviera, 1955, British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent. Photo: Finnish National Gallery/Jenni Nurminen. 

Known  as creator of the Moomin characters and books, Tove Jansson’s graphic illustrations and paintings have rarely been seen outside her home country of Finland.

The Dulwich Picture Gallery seeks to change this with this retrospective of her career, bringing together 150 pieces of her work to reintroduce the artist as someone with exceptional breadth and talent.

Tove Jansson: From Painting to the Moomins will examine the key stages of her career including  surrealist-inspired paintings of the 1930s and abstract work of the ‘60s, her satirical anti-war cartoons and book jacket designs, as well as a comprehensive display of early sketches for the Moomin characters and original comic strips.

Sophia Jansson, creative director of Moomin Characters and Tove Jansson’s niece, said:

“It was hugely important to Tove that she be recognised as a talented fine artist in addition to being the creator of the Moomins. Balancing her painting and her other projects alongside the demands that the Moomins made of her was something she struggled with all her life. I’m delighted that Dulwich Picture Gallery is putting on this exhibition which will make Tove’s wider artistic output accessible to a UK audience, who may not yet be familiar with her work outside of Moominvalley.”

The exhibition will begin with a number self-portraits, landscapes and still-lifes, many of which have never been seen before in the UK, introducing a different side to the artist that is relatively unknown to many people in the UK.

Sointu Fritze, curator of the exhibition, said:“In Europe and the world today, Tove’s art and stories are more relevant than ever. Her entire oeuvre and way of thinking are characterised by the acceptance of differences. Although the family circle – both the artist’s own and the fictional Moomin family – is central, the door is always open for those seeking shelter. Tove Jansson’s works convey a profound understanding of human diversity. This show will reveal fascinating new insights into a colourful life and the work that came out of it.”

Tove Jansson: From Painting to the Moomins will be on display at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from the 25th October until the 28th January 2018. For more information visit:




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