Tom of Finland stamp (all images courtesy Itella Posti)

Tom of Finland stamp (all images courtesy Itella Posti)

On September 8, Finnish company Itella Posti will release stamps featuring the work of Tom of Finland. The postage honors his art’s “confident and proud homoeroticism,” as the Itella Posti proclaims, with two drawings from his prolific career selected for the September–October run.

Tom of Finland stamp sheet

Tom of Finland stamp sheet (click to enlarge)

The stamps were designed by graphic artist Timo Berry with Susanna Luoto of the Tom of Finland Foundation. “The sheet portrays a sensual life force and being proud of oneself,” Berry said. “There is never too much of that in this northern country.” Tom of Finland, aka Touko Laaksonen, is also being celebrated in an exhibition of his correspondence from the 1940s until his death in 1991 as part of the inauguration of Finland’s Postal Museum on September 6.

The Tom of Finland stamps are being joined by some autumn scenes of the countryside and sprightly Christmas designs, but considering the uproar in the United States over just the removal of a cigarette from the lips of Robert Johnson on his 1994 stamp and the one for Jackson Pollock in 1999, the fact that the Finnish stamps include smoking along with unapologetic sexuality is pretty incredible. It’s not, however, the first time nudity has made it onto a stamp — for example, the Goya stamps from the 1930 Spanish-American Exhibition in Seville.

Meanwhile, the United States Postal Service is releasing a stamp of slain San Francisco politician Harvey Milk on May 22, Harvey Milk Day. After his life as one of the first openly gay elected politicians in the country, he’ll now be the first one to grace a US stamp.

Tom of Finland stamp

Tom of Finland stamp

Tom of Finland stamp

Tom of Finland stamp

Allison C. Meier is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from Oklahoma, she has been covering visual culture and overlooked history for print and online media since 2006. She moonlights...

3 replies on “Homoerotic Art of Tom of Finland Celebrated on Postal Stamps”

  1. Hi, As expected the new stamps have got a lot of attention here in Finland but reading your article I realized I haven’t noticed anyone commenting the smoking. Finland has very tight laws against smoking and Finns smoke less than most of the other Europeans but it seems Tom was allowed to keep his cigarette, in the name of art 🙂 Cool desing, love it.

  2. [To all in Sinland: I found the following article on the internet and am sharing it with you for your opinion of it.]

    Harvey Milk Stamped “Out” Forever !

    The Obama Cabal is
    behind universal GAYety with a “forever” postage stamp glorifying Harvey
    Milk, a Jewish homosexual predator “attracted to boys aged 15-19,”
    according to WikiAnswers! (Also see Wikipedia.)
    Global gaydom was even predicted by Jesus (see “days of Lot” in Luke 17 and compare with Genesis 19).

    And the Hebrew prophet Zechariah (14th chapter) says that during the
    same end-time gay “days” ALL nations will come against Israel and
    fulfill the “days of Noah” at the same time (see Luke 17 again) – a
    short time of anti-Jewish genocide found in Zechariah 13:8 when
    two-thirds of all Jews will die.
    In other words, when “gay days” have become universal, all hell will break loose!

    The same “days” will cause worldwide human government to collapse in
    just a few short years! For the first time ever there won’t be enough
    time for anyone to attend college, have a family, enjoy retirement, etc.
    It will also be the last time anyone like ObabaBlackSheep will be able
    to keep pulling the wool over our eyes!
    One final thought. The more we see gays “coming out,” the sooner Jesus will be “coming down”!

    For more, Google or Yahoo “God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up,” “Jesus Never
    Mentioned Homosexuality. When gays have birthdays…,” “FOR GAYS ONLY:
    Jesus Predicted…,” “USA – from Puritans to Impure-itans!” and “The
    Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”
    (PS: HOMOgenized Milk is preferred by Gov. Schwarzenaggravator and Pres. ObabaBlackSheep.)

Comments are closed.