HAM is proud to house two frescoes by Tove Jansson from 1947. The art museum’s name HAM is also a nod to the mother of Tove Jansson, Signe “Ham” Hammarsten-Jansson (1882-1970).
Party in the City is worth having a closer look, as it includes many hints of Tove’s life at the time of making. A beautiful dark-haired figure on the dance floor is the (secret) lover of Jansson, theatre director Vivica Bandler (1917-2004). Tove Jansson herself can be spotted at the front of the crowd, with a small Moomin figure by her side at the table.
Party in the Countryside is a more idyllic work, with a strong presence of nature.
The frescoes were originally commissioned by the restaurant of the City Hall of Helsinki. Jansson also produced other public artworks, such as for the Aurora Children’s Hospital in Helsinki. The Tove collection of HAM also includes Moomin-filled sketches for the hospital mural, as well as a partial replica painted on the wall.