DISPATCH Winter 2001


How many times have you heard someone say “I wish I could have an original Tom of Finland work!” Well, you may not realize that there are still some originals by Tom which are available to collectors.

When we established the Foundation, Tom brought over to America more than 1500 rough sketches. He had never shown them to anyone, thinking that such “preliminary” works were of no interest to anyone. Tom generously gave 500 to the Foundation's Permanent Collection, and kept the rest for his personal sales up to the time of his death. These rough sketches have since become sought after by museums and fine art collectors around the world.

While the 500 sketches in the permanent collection are not for sale, the sketches in Tom's personal possession at the time of his death are available through the Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica, California. Contact Cliff at 310-453-3031 for more information. The average piece sells for around $3500.00. The gallery also has some finished works that have been put up for sale by private collectors which generally start at about $6500.00.

erotic art weekendIf your checkbook isn't quite ready for that kind of purchase, the Foundation has seven pen and ink works of Tom from a series called “Sightseeing the Guards”, which we are obligated to sell. These panels, along with many others, were in the possession of a publisher in Denmark. Tom had long wanted them returned, and after much negotiation, the publisher agreed to part with them, but demanded $10,000 in compensation. The Foundation Board decided to use savings to make the acquisition, with the proviso that enough of the work be sold to recover the funds.

It proved to be a worthwhile investment, as we recovered well over 200 works, worth much more than the $10,000 investment. In addition many of the works are a priceless record of Tom's early story books that are an immaculate representation of his work in a combination of gouache and ink. The remaining seven works, such as the one pictured here, are available directly through the Foundation for a mere $850.00 per panel.

erotic artIf that is still above and beyond what you can afford, we have about 100 signed and numbered lithographs of the last work Tom did, titled “Perfection” (pictured on the right). Tom was pleased with this fine reproduction of his work and wanted to sign as many as he could. Unfortunately due to his ill health, he was only able to sign 300, making these remaining 100 at a price of only $300 even more valuable to collectors.

For those East Coasters interested in collecting works by Tom of Finland, the Mark Moore Gallery will be at the Armory Art show in NYC this spring (see listing in Foreplay), with a selection of Tom originals. They also plan to have an exhibition at their Gallery in March, focusing on the “Faces of Tom's Men.”