It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Arts and Archives 2013: Three days in Stockholm

 (Stranvägen in Stockholm)

..is too short time to explore even a fraction of the wealth of science and art that is available in this old city of three crowns.
Our first stop was the Swedish Museum of Natural History, which is personally very close to me as this institute was my employer for 10 fantastic years before my  move to the U.S. 
(Swedish Museum of Natural History)

We were welcomed by Prof. Arne Andeberg and curator Mia Ehn on the sunny Friday morning. Mia presented us original Linnaeus plant material and the first Swedish flora from 1605 (still intact), all normally kept in the museums safe. We could study unique 19th century illustrations from the extensive South-American collection (Regnell collection). Already the second time during this trip we saw newly discovered expedition material which was not yet published.  Mia introduced us to Emma Hulten who has done many of the current illustrations for the research division and we had the opportunity to study her current illustrations material.  
(one of the newly recovered illustrations from South America, 19th century)

Our second major visit for this day was the 64-gun warship Vasa that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. Dr. Fred Hocker, Director of Research spent a fantastic three hours with us presenting the ship including a tour of the research magazines which are not available for public. A large part of the material stored there is not even cataloged yet (artifacts including wood, fabrics, human remains, brandy and metal). Finally before dinner we had a tour of the Old town and got a quick lesson of Stockholm’s and Sweden’s history past and present.
(some of the decorations of the warship Vasa)

On Saturday morning we visited at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts and had the possibility to see some 120 artworks by Carl Larsson, who is one of the best known and best loved artists in Sweden – Larsson quickly became a favorite also for many of our tour participants.

The Riddarholm Church is the oldest preserved building in Stockholm and the only surviving mediaeval monastery church build around 1290. It is the royal burial church as well as the national hall of remembrance and a given place to visit.
The K.A. Almgren Silk Mill is the longest operating silk factory in Sweden, it was established 1833 and closed in 1974; In 1991 the silk mill was reopened and is now a living museum. The mill has produced fabrics for both royalty and commoners and the original Jacquard loom from 1862 is still producing silk fabric today. In the museum exhibition we could study the sketches for patterns and also the finished products.
(In a Jacquard loom the pattern is transferred to the warp via a chain of punch cards)

The overview of Stockholm would not be complete if one could not visit Skansen open-air museum which is the oldest of its type in the world, here we could see the Swedish folk culture at its best/ We could also get familiar with many old crafts like how to prepare linen from harvesting the plant to preparing the fiber  and spinning the yarn.



Our last day in Stockholm contained two highlights:

1. Visit to the Nordic Museum’s archives and study of the museum’s amazing filing system in which each item was painted and carefully described on the index cards by Emelie von Waltersdorff (employed 1903-1933).
2. Bruno Liljefors exhibit at Prince Eugen's Waldemarsudde:


Please see the photos from the sunny weekend in Stockholm by clicking here (coming soon). 

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