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A new Moomin art mug is born of Moomin Museum and Arabia cooperation

Published 30.3.2017 15.00

The Tampere Art Museum will open the world’s first and only Moomin Museum in Tampere Hall on 17 June 2017. The new museum will explore the world of the Moomin books created by author and artist Tove Jansson (1914–2001) in a completely new, experience-based way. Tove Jansson’s original illustration drawings and paintings provide the basis for the museum, together with three-dimensional Moomin dioramas that Jansson created together with her life partner, graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä (1917–2009).

Kuva: Uusi Muumi-taidemuki

The original illustrations are now brought to Moomin lovers in new ways, one of which is the first ever Moomin art mug that is a result of the cooperation between the Moomin Museum and Arabia. An original illustration by Tove Jansson, the book cover drawing for Finn Family Moomintroll from 1950, has been selected from the Tampere Art Museum collections. This illustration has been transferred in as much detail as possible to the surface of Arabia’s Teema mug beloved and known by all Finns.

The illustration was first published on the cover of Moumine le Troll, the French translation of Finn Family Moomintroll, in 1968. The original gouache drawing is 12.2 cm x 42.4 cm, and Jansson sketched it in pencil. Finn Family Moomintroll was originally published in Swedish in 1948, and was translated into Finnish only in 1956.

In the story, Moomintroll, Sniff and Snufkin find the Hobgoblin’s hat on mountain near Moominvalley. The magical hat changes the appearance of things, even of the story’s main character, Moomintroll. Then all kinds of weird things start taking place at the Moominhouse. In Finn Family Moomintroll, we also meet the inseparable pair Thingumy and Bob who Jansson created as the alter egos of herself and her then-beloved Vivica Bandler. Thingumy and Bob have in their possession the King’s Ruby, the symbol of forbidden love, which the terrible Groke is trying to get his hands on. The illustration includes almost all the characters that were featured in the later stories, and this colourful panorama contains the most important things in Tove Jansson’s life at the time.

The Moomin art mug will be available on 9 May 2017 exclusively for a period of one week in the Tampere Hall Shop, in cooperation with the Moomin Museum. After that, the mug will be available at Arabia retailers.

The Moomin Museum is the largest investment in culture in Tampere for Finland’s centenary

The original Finn Family Moomintroll book cover illustration will be featured in the first Moomin Museum permanent exhibition, together with about 400 other drawings and paintings, as well as 30 dioramas. The museum presents the stories of all 12 of the Moomin books chronologically, bringing Jansson’s texts alongside the illustrations and sketches. The Tampere Art Museum exhibition working group has used new technology to turn the museum into a deep and multi-sensory experience for Moomin and art lovers alike.

“Moomins are among the most famous Finnish characters internationally. As one of the largest investments in culture for Finland’s centenary, the City of Tampere opens the first and only Moomin Museum in the world. The museum is a national treasure – a nationally and internationally unique destination, at the cutting edge of travel and culture in Tampere. The City of Tampere has invested a total of EUR 22 million into the renewed Tampere Hall and the Moomin Museum. We expect at least 100,000 annual visitors," says Mayor of Tampere Anna-Kaisa Ikonen.

“Tampere is a strong city of culture, which is a significant part of the city’s attraction as a tourist destination. Culture connects generations, provides pleasure, and supports the regional economy."

Moomin treasures to Tampere in 1986

In mid-1980s, Tove Jansson was in her seventies, a renowned artist and author with a long career behind her. She wanted to conserve her work for the generations to come. At the same time, Tampere Art Museum was preparing a large-scale exhibition of the work of graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä, Tove’s life partner. Then Museum Director of Tampere Art Museum, currently Museum Counsellor Anneli Ilmonen was keen to receive the collection offered by Jansson even though the value of the original illustrations of the books, considered to be children’s books, was not yet universally acknowledged at the time.

Tuulikki Pietilä’s exhibition at the Tampere Art Museum opened in spring 1986, and the first Moomin exhibition was held in the Art Museum’s basement floor from April to August. Tampere Art Museum pledged to administrate, exhibit and maintain the collection according to museum requirements. The suitable premises for exhibiting the collection were found on the ground floor of the main library Metso, designed by Tuulikki Pietilä’s brother Reima Pietilä, which was nearing completion. The Tampere Art Museum Moominvalley was located in Metso until the end of 2012. The Moominvalley closed its doors for good in October 2016 when the more modest exhibition presented at the Tampere Art Museum’s basement floor was closed as the museum prepared to move into the new premises in the Tampere Hall.

Contents of the art collection

In 1986, the initial Moomin donation to the Tampere Art Museum contained 1,009 illustrations, drawings and paintings and 38 dioramas. The drawings and paintings were original illustrations and sketches from the Moomin books and other books illustrated by Tove Jansson, and that were included in the first Tampere Art Museum Moomin exhibition. The detailed three-dimensional dioramas depicting the world of the Moomins were created by Jansson and Pietilä together with their friend, Licentiate of Medicine Pentti Eistola. In addition, the collection featured Jansson’s early work, Moomin books in different languages, and sculptor Essi Renvall’s sculpture of Tove Jansson.

Jansson, Pietilä and Eistola added to the art collection along the years drawings, dioramas, cartoons for Garm magazine, paintings and Moomin marionettes. In 1993, the Paraphernalia collection complementing the art collection was added. It includes props for the dioramas, letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, and slides.

Many new things for Moomin lovers

The Moomin Museum will open on 17 June, but the Tampere Hall also has something new for Moomin lovers. An exhibition on Tove Jansson, the creator of the Moomins, the history of the Moominvalley and the design process of the new museum, the Making of Moomin Museum exhibition is open in the Winter Garden of Tampere Hall until 8 May. In the Moomin Museum’s own Reading Room in the Tampere Hall lobby, you can relax and enjoy the library’s collection of Moomin books in over 20 languages, or read about Tove Jansson herself. The new Tampere Hall shop selection will include original, illustrated Moomin books by Tove Jansson, products based on original illustrations, Tampere souvenirs and classic Finnish brands, as well as handicrafts by local designers. The latest innovation is Restaurant Tuhto, which also serves the museum’s customers.

You can follow the creation of the new Moomin Museum at:

on Facebook @moominmuseum
on Instagram @moominmuseum