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First exhibition opens at Tampere's new Moomin Museum

The first temporary exhibition at the new Moomin museum in Tampere opened on Wednesday August 9, presenting classic pieces by Moominvalley creator Tove Jansson. The opening coincides with an inaugural opening concert at Tampere Hall - and Jansson's birthday.

Muumipeikko tervehtii näyttelyyn tulijaa.
Moomintroll welcomes guests to the museum. Image: Heli Mansikka / Yle

Stepping into the brand new Moomin museum is like stepping into a completely different universe, complete with the soft, dreamlike atmosphere of Moominvalley.

A two-metre tall recreation of the blue Moominhouse stands proud in the centre of the exhibition. The Tampere Hall is the proud host for the world’s first and only Moomin museum, which opened in June.

 

Muumi-Talo Muumimuseossa
An intricate model of the Moominhouse stands two metres tall and has five storeys. Image: Jari Kuusenaho / Tampereen taidemuseo

The museum displays nearly 400 original Moomin pieces by the creator of the beloved hippo-like creatures, Tove Jansson. The exhibit also shows around 30 three dimensional pieces by her partner, graphic designer Tuulikki Pietilä.

 

Taikatalvi-kuvaelma.
The exhibition has 30 scenes created by Jansson's partner, Tuulikki Pietilä. Image: Heli Mansikka / Yle

The exhibition boasts classic pieces by Jansson, and rare gems on display in public for the first time. Each work of art has gone through hours of painstaking restoration.

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Constructing the museum cost 3.6 million euros, and is expected to attract over 200,000 visitors a year from all over the world.

Moomin fans have embraced their new pilgrimage site. Yoko Inaba and Fumika Nonaka from Japan were up early and waiting outside the museum a few hours before opening time. The duo was in Finland on a week-long Moomin tour.

 

Japanilaisia muumituristeja Tampereella
Yoko Inaba and Fumika Nonaka from Japan love the Moomins. Image: Heli Mansikka / Yle

It is by pure chance that the highly anticipated museum ended up in Tampere – since, after all, Jansson was a born and bred Helsinki native.

Jansson’s partner Pietilä had an exhibition at the Tampere Art Museum, and Pietilä’s brother, architect Reima Pietilä, was designing the city’s main library.

 

Kansikuvapiirros kirjaan Taikurin hattu, vuodelta 1968. Muumimuseo, Tampereen taidemuseon Muumilaakson kokoelma.
Cover art from 1968 for the French translation of The Magician's Hat. Image: Jari Kuusenaho ©Moomin CharactersTM

Jansson had over 2,000 artworks she wanted to donate, but had difficulty finding a museum in Helsinki that would have them. At that time, illustrations were seen as simple prints, not actual art.  

Tampere can thank then Tampere Art Museum director Anneli Ilmonen, who took the pieces in.

”I’m sure everyone in Helsinki must be jealous and wishing they had had that kind of foresight back in the day,” says Taina Myllyharju, Tampere Art Museum director, with a laugh.

The museum's first temporary exhibition, Tove Jansson and the Moomins, opened on August 9, coinciding with an inaugural opening concert at Tampere Hall - and what would have been Jansson's 103rd birthday.

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