The Pleasure of Play is the most comprehensive Tom of Finland survey exhibition to date, spanning six decades to include more than 180 drawings, 1930s childhood paper dolls, the full set of 1940s gouaches along with triptychs, individual drawings, storyboards and over 300 reference pages.
Touko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland (1920, Kaarina – 1991, Helsinki), was a child of grammar school teachers and grew up in rural Finland. At the age of 19 he enrolled in a distance learning advertising course. Soon drafted, he joined the Finnish Army in its fight against the Soviet invasion. After the war he stayed in Helsinki, studying classical piano at the renowned Sibelius Academy. While at the Academy, Tom of Finland worked as freelance graphic designer, later becoming senior art director at the Helsinki office of the global advertising agency McCann Erickson.