Tove and the allure of the sea – exhibition in Maretarium

The Moomins have enchanted generations of fans from all over the world for decades, transcending both language barriers and cultural borders with their universal appeal. Tove Jansson (1914-2001), Finnish-Swedish writer and artist, wrote and illustrated nine novels, four picture books and hundreds of comic strips about the Moomins between 1945 and 1970.

The books about the brave, adventurous, yet family-focused and home-loving Moomins have been translated into more than 55 languages and are still in print all over the world today. In addition to writing and illustrating the Moomin books, Tove Jansson was also an established fine art painter. Furthermore, the Moomin stories only count for part of Tove´s literary outout; she went on to write a series of classic novels and short stories, which establishedher as one of Scandinavia´s best loved authors to date.

The sea was an important element for Tove Jansson, both in real life and in the fiction and art she created. She spent almost all her summers in the Pellinge archipelago in the Gulf of Finland, first with her parents and both brothers and later with her life partner, graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä, with whom she usually stayed on the remote island of Klovharu from April to September.

The sea is an especially vital part of the Moomin universe. Sometimes it almost becomes a character in its own right, like in the iconic novel Moominpappa at Sea, where Moominpappa gets angry at the sea in his efforts to understand its inner workings. Like Moominpappa states in Moominpappa´s memoris: “An attraction for the sea must be a Moominous quality. I see with satisfaction that my son has inherited it.”

The exhibition is part of the #OURSEA campaign, a charity campaign launched by Moomin Characters to celebrate the 75-year anniversary of Tove Jansson publishing her first Moomin story. The aim of the campaign is to increase awareness of the condition of the Baltic Sea and raise one million euros for John Nurminen Foundation´s work to save the Baltic Sea and its vibrant culture.

Visit Maretarium and take part to #OURSEA campaign!

www.oursea.fi