The year-long exhibition of legendary Gay artist, Tom of Finland, ended in December attracting a record audience of 90,000 to the Logomo space. The exhibition, which opened in January 2011, was part of the official program for Turku European Capital of Culture 2011 and presented by Homotopia, Liverpool, Turku 2011 Foundation and Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles.
The major retrospective of 70 rare and iconic drawings from 1928 to 1990 were on special loan from Tom of Finland Foundation’s permanent collection. The exhibition was a key highlight of the Homotopia Festival when Liverpool was European Capital of Culture in 2008, attracting record audiences there of 7,000.
Cay Sevón, CEO Turku 2011 Foundation, said “The Tom of Finland retrospective was one of the most valuable parts of the artistic program of the European Capital of Culture year. The exhibition attracted significant national and international interest. The project will leave a permanent heritage in Turku. Tom of Finland Foundation has donated a piece of art to The City Museum for Modern Art, as a first work that we hope will build into a collection. Relatives of Tom (Touko Laaksonen) want to participate in supporting the establishment of such a collection, built especially on work, personal effects and memorabilia from Touko’s youth. Åbo Akademi University in Turku will start collecting written documents about and by Touko, particularly pertaining to Touko’s youth. The project in many ways has given us in Turku a gift of permanent relevance.”