Dita Parker

Saturday, August 9, 2014

100 years of Jansson

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of artist Tove Jansson. And when I say artist I mean author, painter, illustrator, cartoonist, caricaturist... 

She lived and loved freely and worked incessantly, wanted to be remembered for her paintings but is perhaps best known for the Moomin, their eponymous valley and adventures. Which is just as well. It's a microcosm of infinite wisdom adults enjoy and appreciate along with (or even without!) kids. Translated into more than 40 languages, you should be able to read them in your mother tongue. For other works, search

Tove Jansson Life, Art, Words: The Authorised Biography

Sculptor's Daughter: A Childhood Memoir
The Listener

The True Deceiver

The Summer Book

A Winter Book: Selected Stories

Art in Nature: and other stories

Travelling Light

Fair Play

If you're in London you're in luck, you have some two weeks left to get thee to the Institute of Contemporary Arts right on The Mall and catch the Tove Jansson: Tales From the Archipelago display that presents "original unseen photographs and material relating to her life and work, illustrated books and early first editions."

If you're near Covent Garden you're in a hurry,  there's a Moomin Summer Madness - A Birthday Party going on, a day for the whole family, this very weekend.

If you're in Scandinavia, or planning a visit, you still have some four weeks to catch a wonderful exhibition courtesy of the Finnish National Gallery that covers all periods of Jansson’s career.

If you're in Japan (Japanese love and I mean love all things Finnish in general and the Moomin in particular), you have a whole year ahead, filled with goodies, to look forward to.

If you're a curious being, you're in good company. Nothing was ever too tiny or trivial for Tove. Life was a big adventure in a small boat, every morning a new opportunity to start afresh. “All things are so very uncertain, and that's exactly what makes me feel reassured." (Moominland Midwinter)

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