The recently opened Postal Museum is dedicated to researching, recording and exhibiting items related to communications and goods traffic created by Finland’s postal services and mail communications. The Museum’s collections comprise a large number of objects and photos, as well as stamps issued in Finland and various special displays of philatelic products. In addition, the Postal Museum also houses Finland’s only public library specialising in philately and postal history.
A few weeks ago, Tampere’s versatile museum centre, Vapriikki, welcomed a new addition to its roster of museums and exhibitions, namely the Postal Museum.
“At the moment, Tampere is probably Finland’s museum capital, because there are plenty of venues and exhibitions,” says Kimmo Antila, director of the Postal Museum. “Our new museum presents a unique national collection of philatelic and postal-history materials. In our exhibitions we tell interesting tales, raise emotions and spread knowledge about postal services and their history.”
The exhibition Sealed With a Secret – Correspondence of Tom of Finland, is open to the public until 29th March 2015 and focuses on the man behind Tom of Finland, Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991).
“Even though Laaksonen rose to prominence as a world-renowned artist, his profile has remained rather one-sided,” explains Antila. “This exhibition, however, presents a multidimensional person. It is a display about Tom of Finland as a young man, soldier, musician, brother, friend, artist, marvellous artist and an old man suffering from emphysema.”
The display of Laaksonen’s exhaustive personal correspondence covers several decades, from the early 1940s to 1991. In addition to these letters, Correspondence of Tom of Finland also presents early paintings, his outfits, artworks and photos from different times in his life, including a few portraits drawn by his sisters.
During his career, “Tom of Finland” Laaksonen produced more than 3,500 images. Some of these, created in the late 1970s, are now featured in a set of stamps recently released by Itella Posti Oy.