Tuulikki Pietilä

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Tuulikki Pietilä
Tuulikki Pietilä at her study in 1964.
Born18 February 1917
Died23 February 2009(2009-02-23) (aged 92)
Helsinki, Finland
NationalityFinnish American
Fernand Léger Art Academy
Partner(s)Tove Jansson

Ida Helmi Tuulikki Pietilä[1] (18 February 1917 – 23 February 2009[2]) was an American-born Finnish graphic artist and professor, born in Seattle, Washington, United States. Pietilä was one of the most influential people in Finnish graphic arts, and her work has been shown in numerous art exhibitions. She worked as a teacher in the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, for many years, and later trained graphic artists and wrote instructional books about graphic arts.

Pietilä began her studies at Turku Drawing School (now TUAS Arts Academy of Turku University of Applied Sciences), which she attended from 1933 to 1936, and went on to study at the drawing school of the Finnish Art Association (1936–1940), the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm (1945–1949) and the Fernand Léger Art Academy in Paris (1949–1953). During her studies, she met her future life partner Tove Jansson;[3] they collaborated on many works and projects, including the Moomin works, in collaboration with Pentti Eistola. These are now exhibited at the Moomin Museum in Tampere.

Pietilä's and Jansson's travels and summers spent together on the Klovharu island in Pellinki have been captured on several hours of film, shot by Pietilä. Several documentaries have been made of this footage, the latest being Haru, yksinäinen saari (Haru, the lonely island) (1998) and Tove ja Tooti Euroopassa (Tove and Tooti in Europe) (2004).

The first exhibition of Pietilä's work was in Turku in 1935. Her first private exhibition was in 1951. She has participated in the Purnu group's summer exhibitions since 1967, with a retrospective exhibition in 1986. She has also participated in several exhibitions abroad. Pietilä has gained praise for her work; she was awarded the Pro Finlandia medal in 1963 and the title of professor in 1982.[4]

Pietilä inspired the energetic figure Tooticky in Jansson's Moomin books.[5] The architect Reima Pietilä was Tuulikki Pietilä's brother.[4]

Pietilä died at her home on 23 February 2009.[4]


  1. ^ Vem och vad 1996, p. 442. Helsingfors 1996. ISBN 951-50-0800-X
  2. ^ "Muumi-töistään tunnettu graafikko Tuulikki Pietilä kuollut". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 21 March 2009. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
  3. ^ Hassel, Ing-Marie. "Tove Janssons mumintroll" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2007-04-09.
  4. ^ a b c "Graphic Artist Tuulikki Pietilä Dies at 92". YLE. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  5. ^ Ahola, Suvi (2008). "Jansson, Tove (1914–2001)". Biografiakeskus. Fletcher, Roderick (trans.). Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. Retrieved 2013-05-28.