Jenny Nyström utställningen
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Jenny's Christmas

After the first tomte Jenny illustrated, she made a wide range of charming Christmas cards.

She turned her Christmas cards into an idyll of how Sweden's Christmas traditions should be. She illustrated tomtar, cheerful children, beautiful Christmas trees, St Lucia and everything else that comes with Christmas.

"Our Swedish tomte should be dressed in grey"
(Jenny Nyström, 1944)


Known as the "mother of tomten", she has a special bond to this little figure.

With her own determination to make the illustrations to Viktor Rydbergs “Lille Viggs äventyr på julafton”(Little Viggs adventures on Christmas eve), they got to know each other. When Rydberg then wrote his well known poem “Tomten”, Jenny made the illustration. At this point a friendship was laid lasting a lifetime between Jenny and the tomte character. A figure and concept she, from that point, would always be associated with.

Jenny herself said that she did not know where the tomte features came up from; she just thought he should look in a certain way. She succeeded in her way, of not making him into a handsome old man nor a monster and the "Swedish kind hearted, gifts giving tomte" was born.