for immediate release  

Tom of Finland Foundation announces:


untitled study #552
Tom of Finland

Five works by the artist Tom of Finland (1920-1991), purchased by the Judith Rothschild Foundation and included in a collection of 1,500 significant drawings compiled by Harvey S. Shipley Miller, have been gifted to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

Tom of Finland, born Touko Laaksonen in a small village in Finland, first came to public attention in 1956, when Physique Pictorial magazine began to publish his drawings. In the ensuing years, his hyper-masculine images of men, often in explicitly erotic situations with other men, achieved the status of icons in the gay male community. His work is credited by scholars with significantly influencing the way the culture viewed gay men, as well as how gay men viewed themselves. Tom became well-known for his meticulously detailed pencil drawings, many of which are now in private collections. Recently, his rough sketches have become increasingly popular among sophisticated collectors. The Rothschild acquisition includes one finished drawings and four sketches, and ranges from simple portraits to sexually explicit group images.

Tom’s work has been acquired for the permanent collections of many museums including: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art; the Chicago Art Institute; the Portland Museum of Art; the Kiasma, Finland’s Museum of Contemporary Art; and, now, the important Rothschild gift to MoMA. Cliff Benjamin — director of the Western Project, the gallery which represents Tom’s work — says, “Tom of Finland will no longer be an ‘outsider’, but will be recognized for what he was: one of the historically significant artists of the 20th century.”

Durk Dehner, Director of the Foundation, rejoices at the news. “I think it’s timely that this is happening as the Foundation celebrates its 21st anniversary”, he said. “My only regret is that Tom didn’t live long enough to see his ‘dirty pictures’, as he used to call them, take their rightful place among the foremost art works of his time.”

The Tom of Finland Foundation was cofounded in 1984 by Tom and Durk, for the purpose of preserving Tom’s work for future generations. In 1988 the Foundation — a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational organization — expanded its mission to include protecting, preserving, and promoting all erotic art.

IMAGES suitable for press use are available here.

Press Contact: Gary Robinson
Phone: 212.228.4883

February 1, 2006

T O M   O F  F I N L A N D   F O U N D A T I O N

20 years of dedication to
protecting, preserving and promoting erotic art


1421 laveta terrace
p.o. box 26658
los angeles, ca 90026
phone 213.250.1685
fax 213.481.2092
press pages: click here

if you would like to adjust the types of materials you receive from the foundation, please click here.