Tom of Finland

Turku
Known as a pioneer for gay culture Touko Laaksonen (1920‒1991) is a fascinating part of Finland’s cultural history. Through his astonishing life’s work Touko Laaksonen is today one of Finland’s internationally best-known artists, Tom of Finland is a renowned brand and his art remains unparalleled.

Coming out to the world from Turku’s neighbouring town of Kaarina, the artist’s legacy is reflected in many ways in Turku 2017 through the centennial programme for Finnish independence. Turku City Theatre will premiere the Tom of Finland musical, and at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum you can see Touko Laaksonen’s life and life’s work on display in the exhibition Touko Laaksonen – Tom of Finland. Of Music and Men. Currently being shown in theatres around the country is the Tom of Finland movie directed by Dome Karukoski, which received great appreciation at, for example, the Gothenburg film festival in January. The stages of its making and the background story to the movie form the unique exhibition Behind the Scenes: Tom of Finland Movie, available to see in Turku’s Logomo centre. In addition, you can get to know Touko Laaksonen’s life on the Visit Turku guided group tour.

Touko Laaksonen – Tom of Finland. Of Music and Men exhibition

Wäinö Aaltonen Museum
The exhibition is no longer on display.

Tom of Finland musical

Turku City Theatre, until 6th May

Turku City Theatre’s musical Tom of Finland tells of Laaksonen’s journey as Tom of Finland. A gifted and eccentric son of a family of teachers from Kaarina, the show looks at his road to becoming a world famous Finnish artist. For men, every drawing was a fantasy come true, so much so that millions of men discovered themselves, their sexuality and much more – Tom’s drawings gave them a reason to open their eyes in the morning. The majority of Laaksonen’s work broke the veil cast over the world, letting in light onto that which had been unknown, in the shadows, prohibited and even punishable.

Behind the Scenes: Tom of Finland Movie exhibition

Logomo, until 13th August

Behind the Scenes: Tom of Finland Movie exhibition allows the viewers back stage and provides a window into the world of filmmaking. Directed by Dome Karukoski this international biographical film tells the inspiring story of the artist Touko Laaksonen also known as Tom of Finland, who’s drawings changed the world. In Turku’s Logomo centre visitors are able to see movie props, costumes, set designs, making-of photos and video interviews with the creators. The content of the exhibition is suitable for the whole family and the facility is fully accessible.

Touko & Tom In Turku, guided tour

bookings through Visit Turku, until 13th August

Through Visit Turku you can book the guided tour Touko & Tom in Turku, during which you’ll hear the stories about Touko’s childhood and early life in Turku. On the tour you’ll see the important places associated with his life and at the same time reflect on the significance that Touko and his values represent to modern Turku. The tour culminates with the Behind the Scenes: Tom of Finland Movie exhibition.

Hotel Packages

Tom of Finland products

In connection with Logomo’s Behind the Scenes exhibition is a shop from where you can acquire Tom of Finland souvenirs such as bags, clothing labels, Finlayson Tom of Finland sheets as well as leather-made products from the movie. The Tom of Finland textiles can also be found at the Finlayson store in the Hansa Shopping Centre (Eerikinkatu Street 15). From MBakery in Turku, chosen to be Finland’s finest, you can also get your Tom of Finland cake.