kuva
STUDIO

Tove moved into her turret studio, address Ullanlinnankatu 1, in 1944.

‘It looks terrible after the bombings, no windows, cracks everywhere, large pieces of the walls have collapsed, the stove and the radiators are destroyed. But it is still my great dream, 7.70 metres from corner to corner. And next to it is a small room where I can live.’

Tove gives a lively description of her studio in a letter to Eva Konikoff:

‘There’s a huge, decorative Jugendstil stove and a funny old door with red and green glass windows. The studio, well I could spend the rest of my life doing it up. And next to it is an asymmetrical whitewashed room where I can keep all my feminine knick-knacks, all my soft, playful, glossy and personal stuff. It has two windows beneath the roof.’


The Ullanlinnankatu studio was to become Tove’s home and working environment for several decades. It was one of her great loves from the outset, even though it was ice cold in the autumn and winter. After a few years, she was also threatened with eviction.

‘I’ve tried to build a home, the perfect artist’s turret studio that I’ve dreamed of my whole life, and for which I thank the Muses every morning. And then comes this slip of paper, saying that on 1 September I have to leave for wherever I see fit. That’s the community life, the civilised city life, that I’ve always found so gauche.’

Many eviction notices arrived over the years, and it took more than ten years for her to own the turret.

In 1972, Tove was the top candidate for a place at the Porvoo Poet’s Home. She did, however, turn down this opportunity, even though she admitted that it was the greatest honour that a Swedish-speaking author could receive in Finland. Her spacious and well-lit studio in Ullanlinnankatu was her home, and she had grown attached to it. There she could find peace, lose herself in her writing and painting, and restrict her public exposure. She didn’t believe that she would be afforded the same level of solitude at the Poet’s Home. She wanted to give her place at the Poets’ Home to a writer whose ‘family life and work would make it an ideal home’.