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Tove Jansson

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Tove Jansson’s frescos Party in the Countryside (1947) and Party in the City (1947) are part of the Helsinki Art Museum’s (HAM) collection and permanently on display in the museum.

Tove Jansson: Party in the City, 1947 / © Tove Jansson Estate / Photo: HAM / Hanna Kukorelli



Helsinki City Hall’s new canteen and formal restaurant facility, Kaupunginkellari, opened in 1947. Jansson was commissioned to “decorate its walls”, as was the custom at that time. The commissioner was Deputy Mayor Erik von Frenckell, father of Tove’s good friend and theatre manager Vivica Bandler. 

For the commission, Jansson drafted two large, party-themed wall paintings. After the drafts were approved, Jansson finished the paintings in just six months. Niilo Suihko, who had studied fresco painting in Italy, assisted her at the beginning. Both Party in the Countryside and Party in the City are a combination of the fresco and al secco techniques, and Tove’s father, sculptor Viktor Jansson, was involved in developing their technical implementation. 

Today, the paintings are part of HAM’s collection and they are permanently on public display. The gallery lamps Paavo Tynell designed illuminated the frescos already in their original location in the Kaupunginkellari Restaurant. 

Tove Jansson (1914–2001) was an artistic multi-talent. She was an artist, writer, cartoonist, illustrator and scriptwriter, best known as the creator of the Moomins.