Several new Moomin and Tove Jansson exhibitions will be open during the summer 2023 – you'll find the most interesting ones in this article.
You can find some of the Moomin and Tove Jansson exhibitions presented more at length elsewhere on moomin.com, but below is a summary of exhibitions organised by country. At the bottom of this article, you can see information about previous exhibitions.
Moomin and Tove Jansson exhibitions in Norway
Tove / Tegnerforbundet – The Norwegian Drawing Center, Oslo
Tove is the first solo exhibition featuring Tove Jansson’s work in Norway. It shows a selection of drawings and paintings, with a focus on Jansson’s self-portraits.
The exhibition at Tegnerforbundet highlights other aspects of Jansson’s work than the Moomin illustrations she became famous for. The images represent family, travel sketches, illustrations, commissions and imaginative doodles. Jansson’s self-portraits are central to the exhibition, showing her diverse palette both in style, form and expression.
Family and upbringing were important to Jansson’s work, something that is well visible in the exhibition. Tove Jansson was brought up by two strong artists and it was clear from an early stage that she wanted to become an artist, and a painter first and foremost.
The exhibition includes a work by Jansson’s father Viktor “Faffan” Jansson and drawings by her mother Sige “Ham” Hammarsten-Jansson. These works are portraits of a young Tove Jansson and represent the close-knit Jansson family. They also show how the creative family members mutually influenced and shaped each other. The works in the exhibition reflect on how Jansson interprets and uses the family as a model.
Several self-portraits are included in the exhibition. The earliest, from 1937, shows the artist at 23 years old. In this early phase of her career, the self-portrait was a means of exploring and staging an artistic identity. The final portrait from 1975 is one of Jansson’s last works in oil.
The exhibition is curated by Lene Fjørtoft and Hilde Lunde. Read more about the Tove exhibition here.
Tove exhibition: The Wondrous – Between myth and reality, Lillehammer Kunstmuseum, Lillehammer
13 May–27 August 2023
Tove Jansson is one of the artists featured in the exhibition The Wondrous – Between myth and reality. The exhibition focuses on natural landscapes and mythical creatures of four artists central to Nordic art and culture history. The other artists are Theodor Kittelsen (1857–1914), John Bauer (1882–1918) and Elsa Beskow (1874–1953).
Seeing Jansson’s work alongside Bauer’s and Beskow’s is rewarding, as both inspired her. She has paid homage to them in several of her works, for example, in the images of her picture book The Dangerous Journey and in references to Bauer in Sculptor’s Daughter. In this video about her first picture book The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My, you can see a few images by Elsa Beskow which influenced that book.
The exhibition The Wondrous explores the artists’ take on natural mysticism and fantasy in nature. The works feature legends, myths, and stories where realistic descriptions have given way to supernatural and magical events.
In the exhibition, the iconic works by Kittelsen, Bauer, Beskow and Jansson are set against contemporary art by Ingrid Torvund, Máret Ánne Sara and Astrid Nondal.
Moomin and Tove Jansson Exhibitions in Finland
Moomin games over the decades, Finnish Museum of Games, Vapriikki, Tampere
19 April–1 October 2023
The exhibition Moomin games over the decades introduces visitors to Moomin-themed games made through several decades, ranging from the Moomin board game originally published in the 1950s to modern mobile games.
Visitors may remember some of the Moomin games in the exhibition from their own childhood. However, some lesser-known rarities from over the years will also be displayed. There are also examples of bootleg games that have not been officially approved at the time.
The exhibition also features newer digital games that are still on the market or that will soon be launched, like Snufkin – the Melody of Moominvalley, which is set to be launched in early 2024.
Many of the games are based on the original books, cartoons or animations, but several of them also contain stories and plot twists created by the game makers themselves.
The exhibition is aimed at Moomin fans of all ages.
Moomin Ice Cave, Leppävirta
April – September 3, 2023
Looking for a chance to cool off during hot summer days? Look no further – Moomin Ice Cave at Sport and Spa Hotel Vesileppis in Leppävirta, Finland, offers you a chilly setting with your favourite characters!
Experience remarkable ice sculptures based on Tove Jansson’s comics, bringing together worldwide pioneers of thematic ice sculpting. The icy fairytale world created in the ski tunnel of Vesileppis offers a jungle-themed experience filled with playful lights and sound.
In the 2023 Moomin Ice Cave, scenes from Tove Jansson‘s comic strip Moominvalley Turns Jungle (1956) are at the centre of the experience. Visitors can explore the jungle-themed wonderland, complete with carnivorous plants, wild jungle animals, the Hobgoblin and other traditional Moomin characters.
The Ice Cave is located 30 meters underground in a skiing arena. The frozen winter wonderland is carved by the best ice sculptors in the world. The temperature in the cave is -3 degrees Celsius all around the year
The exhibition runs until September 3, 2023, and it’s open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. During the summer months, the entry ticket will also include a hire of winter overalls to make the icy visit more enjoyable.
Moomin and Tove Jansson exhibitions in Japan:
Towel Museum, Shimanami Art Museum, Imabari
A permanent Moomin exhibition opened in May 2023
Imagine 40 meters of soft towels with different Moomin characters – can there be a softer place to land after a long day? Located in Imabari City, in the Ehime Prefecture, the Towel Museum of Shimanami Art Museum focuses on the towel culture of Imabari.
At the end of May, a new permanent exhibition focusing on the Moomins opened at the museum. It introduces 40 different characters from Moominvalley as well as towel versions of some of the most iconic imagery from Tove Jansson’s Moomin picture books.
In addition to various cultural art exhibitions, visitors can also learn about the manufacturing process of towels, from spinning cotton to threads to the weaving of the actual towels.
One floor of the five-story museum building features walls covered with 1,800 winding threads dyed in the 200 colors featured in the towels on display.
The museum grounds also feature a 33,000 square meter garden where various flowers bloom throughout the year.
Read more about the museum here.
Moomin and Tove Jansson exhibition at Kokemus exhibition centre, Moominvalley Park, Hanno
Moominvalley Park hosts both a permanent exhibition centre called Kokemus, as well as temporary exhibitions.
The three-storey exhibition facility Kokemus means “experience” in Finnish. The park interweaves the life of Tove Jansson and the Moomins. Visitors can enjoy a variety of exhibits, including Japan’s first permanent Moomin exhibition space and an introduction to the world of the novels and picture books. There is also a giant diorama of Moominvalley measuring over 8 metres, which you can see in the image below.
The welcome artwork at the entrance to Kokemus is a reproduction of a fresco by Tove that is over four metres high. Commissioned in 1947 to decorate the restaurant in Helsinki City Hall, the fresco, entitled ‘Party in Countryside’ is now part of the permanent collection of the Helsinki Art Museum.
The park is packed with photo spots that will make you feel like you’ve wandered into the world of the storybooks.
In this video you can experience Kokemus in one minute.
The current temporary exhibition is called Convivial Life at Moomin’s Table – Eating and Sharing Nature’s Bounty. The exhibition presents Moominvalley’s rich culinary culture, centred on food from the bounties of nature from season to season. You can watch a video about the temporary here.
Opening dates: Permanent exhibition open around the year
We present some of the exhibitions more at length elsewhere on moomin.com, but here is a summary of exhibitions organised by country:
Previous Moomin and Tove Jansson exhibitions
From Tove’s Bookshelves / Moomin Museum, Tampere, Finland
What did Tove Jansson read, and what books inspired her?
The Moomin Museum in Tampere, Finland, browses through Tove Jansson’s bookshelves, including world literature, children’s books and beautiful illustrations.
The oldest book in the exhibition is from the 1880s, and the newest is from the 1970s. The collection spans almost a century and shows how children’s literature and illustration evolved and how interested Tove Jansson was in following what other children’s authors were doing.
The temporary exhibition, which is open until March 2023, features both books which inspired Tove Jansson and her own books.
The exhibition showcases Jansson’s written and sketched dedications to her friends and family. There are many first edition Moomin books with personal inscriptions, for example, the first edition of Comet in Moominland with a personal inscription from Tove to her father. There are also books by other writers, such as Astrid Lindgren, who sent their books to Jansson with inscriptions dedicated to her.
Opening dates: May 21, 2022 – March 12, 2023
More information here and in an upcoming article on Moomin.com. And don’t forget to visit the Moomin Museum’s extensive permanent exhibition about the Moomins, which is a real treasure chest for Moomin fans – featuring among many other things 41 three-dimensional tableaux of events and places in Moominvalley, including a Moominhouse built by Tove Jansson’s partner Tuulikki Pietilä and their friend Pentti Eistola, assisted by Jansson herself.
Tove Jansson exhibition: Tove Jansson and the Sea, Townhall of Hamina, Finland
The historic Town Hall of Hamina hosts an exhibition focusing on sea-themed works by Tove Jansson. The main attractions are two murals, more than 5 meters wide, commissioned by the Town of Hamina for the 300th anniversary of the city back in 1952. One of the paintings depicts the history of the fortress town in hundreds of interesting details, while the other shows the same story on the seafloor, as if in a dream.
These large paintings by Tove Jansson, now turning 70 years, will be on display for the first time in an art exhibition for the general public.
The exhibition also features other paintings and drawings by Tove Jansson, emphasizing the artist’s close relationship with the sea. The core of the art exhibition is composed of dozens of works by Tove Jansson from the collections of the artist’s family and Moomin Characters.
Opening dates: 10 June – 13 August 2022
Tove Jansson and the Moomins exhibition (Tove Jansson ja Muumit), Jukolanmäen Navetanvintti, Lohtaja, Finland
The exhibition at Jukolanmäen Navetanvintti, Lohtaja will feature Jansson’s paintings, illustrations and cartoons. At the center are the Moomin characters and the process of creating them, but the exhibition is not limited only to them.
The exhibition also focuses on the sea as a theme in Jansson’s production and life. Tove Jansson spent almost all her summers in the Pellinge archipelago in the eastern Gulf of Finland, first with her childhood family and later with her life partner, the graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä. The sea and the archipelago were dear to Jansson and a great source of inspiration, visible throughout her artistic production. In the exhibition, this can be seen through sea-themed Moomin imagery and photos from Jansson’s life in the archipelago. Visitors will also be able to see the documentary Haru – Island of the Solitary, which is based on Pietilä’s 16mm film footage of their summers on the Klovharun Island.
Opening dates: June 29 – August 7th, 2022.
Moomin ABC Exhibition touring different venues in Finland and Sweden
The Moomin ABC exhibition invites children to play with words and to learn about emotions.
The touring exhibition offers a thrilling introduction to the alphabet and a tour of the magical Moominvalley. Children and adults can get acquainted with the Moomin stories and discuss different emotions such as disappointment, sadness and the desire for adventure. The Moomin ABC Exhibition, first seen in the Helsinki Bookhouse in Helsinki, Finland and at the Eden Project in Cornwall, the UK, is exhibited at several venues in Finland and Sweden during 2022.
The exhibition consists of beautiful and playful Moomin-themed modules children can crawl into and through. There is also a poster exhibition with different letters and stories behind them, combined with a whole adventure filled with thrilling tasks and a set of educational material about emotions. The engaging exhibition invites children to go through different kinds of tasks regarding emotions and letters, described in an instruction book available at the beginning of the exhibition. The Finnish and Swedish versions of the exhibition were created based on the ABC books Mumindalens Alfabet (Swedish) and Onnelliset Aakkoset (Finnish), whereas other language versions are based on the original Moomin stories created by Tove Jansson. You can experience the exhibition at the following venues in 2022, and more are being added.
The City Library, Uuskaarlepyy April 5 – June 22, 2022
City Library, Korsnäs, August 8 – September 30, 2022
Funnys Äventyr, Malmö, January 1 – September 2, 2022
Exhibition showcasing Tove Jansson’s heritage in Finnish children’s literature
Finnish children’s literature is both innovative and vigorous. The touring exhibition “Crossing the Baltic Sea” (En resa över Östersjön) by The Finnish Institute in Stockholm showcases Finnish children’s books and how they build upon the heritage of Tove Jansson and the universe of texts and pictures that she introduced in 1945. The exhibition is combined with pedagogical material in Finnish and Swedish.
The Fantastic World of Tove Jansson (Die fantastische Welt der Tove Jansson), Lübeck, Germany
The exhibition shows the creation of the enchanting Moominworld. It spans the painterly oeuvre of Tove Jansson, which has so far been little known in Germany, to her late literature for adults. More than forty top-class loans from Finland are on display. The show takes young and old museum guests on a long journey through the unconventional life and work of Tove Jansson.
The museum organises many other side events, such as musical Moomin readings where the actor Rainer Rudloff reads stories about the Moomins accompanied by Finnish songs on flute, singing and accordion.
Günter Grass House also offers training for teachers around Tove Jansson, as the exhibition offers numerous starting points for teaching German, art, but also history and ethics. It opens up opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching at primary and secondary level.
During Midsummer on June 25th, a Finnish midsummer festival is taking place in the garden of the Günter Grass house for guests of all ages.
Opening dates: March 27 – September 25, 2022
Tove 22, Brake, Germany
Tove 22 is a multi-facet-festival in northern Germany promoting the Moomins as well as the work, life and values of Tove Jansson. It is initiated as a non-profit cooperation of a literature society, a seafarers museum and a local art school and running for a whole year.
Activities have included an illumination inspired by Moominland Midwinter, on-site lectures and a writing competition at Brake grammar school. An indoor exhibition and an outdoor installation in the seafarers’ museums in Brake were opened on April 24 and runs until September 15. In the exhibition, a presentation on Tove Jansson is supplemented by a collection of rare Moomin souvenirs. Visitors get a fascinating insight into how the Moomins were received in Germany during the last decades. The site also features vintage Moomin marionettes from the Augsburger Puppenkiste, as well as a miniature version of the ABC Module Exhibition.
Upcoming events include:
June 24 at 15:30, a guided tour “Kunst und Kuchen” with Moomin Aficionado Christian Panse.
June 25 from 10:00-17:00: museums garden: Summer Party-Wimmelfest with Moomin stories, Moomin songs and adventures
August 15 – 19: Children (age 6- 12 years) are invited to encounter “Tales from Moominvalley- The Invisible Child” with artist Stefan Schaffelt
September 17 final presentation of summer workshops
November/December ABC Module Exhibition starting in public library in Brake
The TOVE 22 program is constantly being expanded. Further information about the program can be found at www.tove22.de
Opening dates: Activities all throughout the year 2022
Muumit ja meri (The Moomins and the Sea), Ilon’s Wonderland (Iloni Ihmedemaa), Haapsalu, Estonia
Ilon’s Wonderland is a gallery and theme centre for children and families based on the works of the world-famous illustrator of children’s books – Ilon Wikland. During the summer of 2022, the centre will feature an exhibition about the Moomins and the sea.
The exhibition examines the Moomins’ love for nature and the sea. Jansson’s original illustrations depict the characters embarking on an adventurous voyage and enjoying a picnic on the rocky shores. In Jansson’s stories and illustrations, the wide open sea sparkles far beyond the horizon like an ever-present companion, almost like a book character itself.
Opening dates: May 20th to September 25, 2022
Moomin Comic Strips Exhibition – the Art of Tove and Lars Jansson, various locations, Japan
Moomin Comic Strips Exhibition – the Art of Tove and Lars Jansson is an exhibition of Moomin material that has never been shown in Japan before.
Approximately 280 original comic drawings and sketches are being exhibited at once in a touring exhibition. The exhibition introduces stories that have not been translated into Japanese. The exhibition also highlights unique characters appearing only in the comics. Visitors to the exhibition will also have a unique possibility to purchase limited-edition Moomin products curated only for the exhibition. T-shirts, dishes, bags, keyrings, etc are sold in the shop, accessible with an exhibition ticket only.
Opened in September 2020, the exhibition has been displayed at a total of eleven locations in Japan.
Opening dates: September 2020 – end of September 2022