C-G Hagström: Tove in her studio, 1990s

Work / Printed Pages

C-G Hagström’s portraits of Tove Jansson in the latest Printed Pages

To celebrate the launch of the Autumn issue of Printed Pages, we’ll be giving you a taster of some of the articles all this week. Below you’ll find a short excerpt from the story as well as a couple of images; for the full piece you can buy the latest Printed Pages here.

Some people have the natural ability to walk into a room and transform it, and that’s not to do with looks – it’s about a vibe. Tove Jansson isn’t a national treasure in Finland purely for her Moomin creations; she’s been put on a pedestal by the her country because of her spirit, her optimism and her purity. C-G Hagström – who has taken over two thousand photographs of Tove – is now the go-to man when it comes to exhibitions about her life, and has spent the last ten years since her death travelling around the world contributing to sell-out shows with his photographs of the much-loved artist.

Tove was photographed a lot; the press loved her. But the reason C-G’s photographs are so special is down to his unique bond with her; a 40 year friendship that was built on a solid bedrock of conversations, coffee, and trips to far-off islands where Tove religiously spent her summers. We spoke to C-G about his photography, his relationship with Tove and his somewhat turbulent dealings with her long-term partner, Tuulikki . What we learnt from the conversation was the power of optimism, the importance of a consistent and unbreakable friendship, and how making time for love and fun is the only thing you really need to get life just right.


C-G Hagström: Tove in her studio with The Moomins, 1990s


C-G Hagström: Tove at her 80t birthday


C-G Hagström and Tove Jansson in Printed Pages Autumn 2014