Hillstrom Museum of Art Showing 150 Years of Swedish Art

Posted on August 27th, 2012 by

Carl Wahlbom (1810-1858); Death of King Gustav II Adolf at Lützen (Gustaf Adolfs död i slaget vid Lützen), 1855; Oil on canvas, 39 ¾ x 59 7/16 inches (101 x 151 cm.); © Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; Transferred from the Kungliga Museet in 1866, NM 1028

150 Years of Swedish Art: Highlights from the Swedish National Collections in Stockholm (Moderna Museet and Nationalmuseum) will be on view at the Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus Adolphus College from Monday, Sept. 10 through Sunday, Dec. 2. There will be a reception during the College’s Nobel Conference, on Tuesday, Oct. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

150 Years of Swedish Art features forty-four paintings that provide an overview of the history of Swedish art since about 1862 until the present time, demonstrating the wonderful vitality of that tradition. 150 Years of Swedish Art, the most ambitious exhibition of the Hillstrom Museum of Art to date, is part of the Museum’s celebration of the Sesquicentennial of Gustavus Adolphus College, which was founded in 1862.

Around half of the artworks have been lent by Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum, while the rest are on loan from Moderna Museet. These sister institutions are the two most important art museums in Sweden. Although the artists represented in the exhibit are of fundamental importance in the collections of those national museums, many of them are not yet well known in the U.S.

Eva Bonnier (1857-1909); Reflection in Blue (Reflex i blått), 1887;Oil on canvas, 31 ½ x 25 3/16 inches (80 x 64 cm.); © Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; Bequest of publisher Karl Otto Bonnier and his family in 1910, NM 1702

The exhibition opens with an important historical painting lent by Nationalmuseum, a well-known depiction of the Death of King Gustav II Adolf at Lützen (1855) by Carl Wahlbom (1810-1858), an appropriate beginning given that it deals with the history of the namesake of Gustavus Adolphus College. The second work in the exhibit, View of Ulriksdal from the Southeast by Edvard Bergh (1828-1880), also lent by Nationalmuseum, was painted in 1862, the same year that College was founded, while several of the most recent works date within the last decade.  These include The Cultivated World, 2008 (Moderna Museet), by Jockum Nordström (born 1963), and Stage, 2009 (also Moderna Museet), by Karin Mamma Andersson (born 1962).

These two artists, a married couple, are amongst the most celebrated in Swedish contemporary art. While there is general awareness in the U.S. of the most prominent Swedish artists of the period covered by the exhibition (such as Carl Larsson, 1853-1919, and Anders Zorn, 1860-1920, both of whom are represented in the exhibit), many of the fine artists being shown are less recognized, and one of the goals of the exhibit is to introduce additional important artists from Sweden to an American audience.

The exhibition includes other key paintings from Nationalmuseum holdings by celebrated artists such as Richard Bergh (1858-1919), Prince Eugen (1865-1947), Gustav Fjæstad (1868-1948), Bruno Liljefors (1860-1939), and August Strindberg (1849-1912). More recent artworks are being lent by Moderna Museet, including by Sigrid Hjertén (1885-1948), Isaac Grünewald (1889-1946), Hilding Linnqvist (1891-1984), Sven X-et Erixson (1899-1970), Dick Bengtsson (1936-1989), Lena Cronqvist (born 1938), Marie Louise Ekman (born 1944), and Thomas Broomé (born 1971).

Axel Nilsson (1889-1980); Arrival of Spring (Vårbrytning), 1921; Oil on panel, 14 ¾ x 19 11/16 inches (37.5 x 50 cm.); Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Purchased 1991 with proceeds from the Lovéns Fund, MOM 520; © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / BUS, Stockholm

The exhibit is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue that includes texts written by leading authorities on the history of Swedish art, including Torsten Gunnarrson, former Director of Collections, Nationalmuseum; Mikael Ahlund, Curator of Paintings, Nationalmuseum; Carl-Johan Olsson, Curator, Department of Exhibitions and Loans, Nationalmuseum; Karin Olsson, Curator, Department of Collections, Nationalmuseum; and Magnus Bons, a freelance art critic and writer who is a frequent contributor to the Swedish art publication Konstperspektiv and to the Norwegian publication Kunstforum.

150 Years of Swedish Art was made possible primarily through the generous support of Mrs. Kristina Bonnier and the Reverend Åke Bonnier, Bishop of Skara Diocese, Sweden, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Gustavus Adolphus College. Additional funding was provided by the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation and the Central Bank of Sweden’s Tercentenary Fund.

The Hillstrom Museum of Art is located on the lower level of the College’s C. Charles Jackson Campus Center. Regular museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends. For more information about this exhibition or the Hillstrom Museum of Art, go online to gustavus.edu/finearts/hillstrom or call 507-933-7200.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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