Houses of Tove – exhibition in Paris shows unseen works by Tove Jansson

Fans of Tove Jansson and the Moomins are in for a treat in September, when the Houses of Tove Jansson exhibition opens in Paris. The exhibition includes works that have not been publicly on display before, as well as newly commissioned artworks by leading contemporary artists.

Houses of Tove Jansson is the largest exhibition in central Europe and France to explore the artist’s vast life and career. The exhibition is the first of its kind, providing new takes on the artist’s heritage as seen through the eyes of a diverse group of contemporary artists. It also showcases works and ephemera that have not been displayed publicly before.

“Tove Jansson lived an unconventional life and this is an unconventional exhibition. It will feature both a wide array of Tove Jansson’s important works as well as works by contemporary artists inspired by Tove’s life. The exhibition will also feature programming, a reading room and capsule collections created exclusively for this exhibition. It’s an attempt to bring the breadth of Tove’s creative output to new audiences and longtime admirers,” says James Zambra, the creative director at Moomin Characters and part of the third generation of the Jansson family to work at the company.

Paris, a lifelong love affair

Opening in Paris, the Houses of Tove Jansson exhibition takes place in a city that played an important role throughout Tove Jansson’s life. Paris was where her parents met when both studied art, and Tove continued in their footsteps, studying art at École des Beaux-Arts and L’Atélier Holy. 

Paris had an important place in Tove Jansson’s heart, and she travelled there repeatedly both in her youth as a young art student and later in life, with her life partner Tuulikki Pietilä, who had several residencies and worked there for months at a time. 

Moomin in many forms

Starting with the early development of Tove Jansson’s visual language and narrative style, the exhibition will bring together key works of her career, including a selection of Jansson’s paintings, drawings, illustrations, and texts, some of which will be on show for the first time. 

Moomin fans will be able to explore how Tove Jansson expanded her Moomin stories into different art forms and commercial products, including theatre, comics, and merchandising.

“Our aim is to keep Tove Jansson’s work alive and relevant, ensuring that her legacy continues to inspire and delight future generations. By partnering with The Community in creating this exhibition, we believe we can offer audiences a new way of seeing and experiencing her work”, says James Zambra.

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Houses of Tove opens in Paris, France, on September 29 during Paris Fashion Week and extends through Paris+, par Art Basel, to October 29. The exhibition is curated by The Community, a Parisian art institution, in collaboration with Tove Jansson’s estate and Moomin Characters. The exhibition space is at Espace Mont-Louis, 8 Impasse de Mont Louis in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.

Houses of Tove Jansson will be free but require registration – sign up here.

Read more about other Tove Jansson and Moomin exhibitions around the world here!