“Sealed with a Secret – Correspondence of Tom of Finland” | 6th September | Tampere, Finland

15th April 2014, 11:17 am


The exhibition reveals the man behind Tom of Finland, who rose to world renown. A multifaceted portrait of the artist Touko Laaksonen is conveyed through his extensive correspondence. The letters are on display for the first time!

The gay erotica of Tom of Finland has spread all around the world. Despite this far-reaching recognition the profile of the artist himself, Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991), has remained rather one-sided. The exhibition presents a multidimensional person. It is an exhibition about Tom of Finland as a man: as young man, soldier, musician, AD, brother, friend, artist, old man suffering from emphysema – and as a marvelous writer.

His exhaustive correspondence covers seven decades from the early 1940s to the year of his decease in 1991. Besides letters the exhibition presents Touko Laaksonen’s early paintings; his portraits drawn by his sisters; art works by Tom of Finland; photos from different phases of his life; as well as his outfits.

On Monday, 8th September 2014, Itella Posti Oy will release a set of stamps in Finland to honor “the most famous Finnish artist in the world” – Tom of Finland (1920-1991), creator of some of the most iconic imagery of Western gay culture. Designed by Finnish graphic artist Timo Berry, the set contains three 1st class adhesive stamps.


Touko Laaksonen’s photo: Durk Dehner.  TOM OF FINLAND, © 1979 Tom of Finland Foundation


Tom of Finland produced more than 3,500 images during his career. The two ones appearing on the stamp sheet are both untitled and date from the late 70s. They encapsulate the self-aware, unapologetic and proud archetypes of Tom of Finland as well as the photorealistic and b/w toned aesthetics of his eloquent signature.

Through 29th March 2015.


The new Postal Museum will open
at the Museum Centre Vapriikki in Tampere in September 2014.

Published: 15th April 2014

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