More than floral wallpaper
SEP 15 2018 - FEB 3 2019

Welcome to the first exhibition in Sweden of the versatile English designer William Morris, whose ideas on craft and quality spread throughout Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Through artworks, wallpaper, fabrics and furniture the exhibition presents his life and work. It is the story of a successful businessman and manufacturer who was also a fervent socialist.
Ask anyone who William Morris is and you will probably receive a hesitant smile in reply. Then ask if they are familiar with Morris wallpaper and they will probably light up and answer: “Oh, I love floral Morris wallpaper!”

William Morris’ designs for textiles and wallpapers are much appreciated in Sweden but few know much about the man behind the patterns. In his native Britain, William Morris is a national treasure. As the leading figure in the British Arts and Crafts Movement, Morris has left a rich legacy and there are several museum-based homes where William Morris’ furnishings are preserved. 

William Morris (1834-1896) was a true multidisciplinarian who, during his 62-year-long life, devoted himself to such diverse activities as art, architecture, the preservation of old buildings, as well as design and crafts. He was the author of novels and poetry; he founded publishing companies and designed fonts. He was interested in Icelandic sagas which he translated into
English. He was a socialist and also a successful entrepreneur and businessman.

William Morris’ divergent commitments were the result of a desire to create a better and more beautiful world for people. In protest against the conservative Victorian society, which was being transformed due to industrialisation, Morris wanted to revive traditional craftsmanship and
small-scale manufacturing and provide dignified living conditions for all. As a socialist he fought for justice and equality.

Produced by Millesgården, the exhibition is a collaboration with the William Morris Gallery,
the William Morris Society and Style Library in London.

The 20th Century!
Picasso, Dali, Léger and more from the Didrichsen Collection
JUNE 16 - SEPT 2 2018

Paintings and sculptures by the 20th century’s most famous artists will fill Millesgården Art
Gallery this summer. The heading cites three of the some 50 artists presented in the exhibition, who contributed to making the 20th century the century of the art experiment, when art movements replaced one another and painters and sculptors expanded the boundaries of the very concept of art.

A generous loan from the Didrichsen Museum in Helsinki has enabled Millesgården to present an exhibition of sculptures by Henry Moore, Niki de Saint Phalle, Alberto Giacometti and Alexander Calder in addition to paintings by Wassily Kandinsky, Emil Nolde and Sonia Delaunay. 

In the 1940s, when the founders of the museum, Marie-Louise (1913-1988) and Gunnar (1903-1992) Didrichsen, began to collect art, their focus was Finnish National Romanticism
including works by Albert Edefeldt and Axeli Gallen-Kallela. Helene Schjerfbeck’s painting awoke a passion in them which led to a collection within the collection of Schjerfbeck’s work. The artist’s discriminating painting also brought with it an interest in more contemporary art, both Finnish and international. With the acquisition of expressionists, surrealists and modernist sculpture the Didrichsens’ collecting gained new focus. Sculptor Henry Moore was perhaps their most important contact. He became a close friend of the family and today the Didrichsen Museum holds the largest collection of Henry Moore sculptures in Europe outside the United Kingdom. 

That which today is the Didrichsen Art Museum was designed in 1957 by architect Viljo Revell as a family residence where their art collection was also displayed. The collection grew and after a new wing was added the art museum opened in 1965. Since 1993, the entire property has been
used for museum activities. The modernist building in 1950s style lacks a clear separation between private residence and museum. 

As collectors, Marie-Louise and Gunnar Didrichsen’s ambition was not to provide an overview of modernism. Their starting point was to purchase art they both appreciated and the collection thus reflects their personal taste. In addition to 20th-century art, the collection also comprises prehistoric Asian collections and pre-Columbian art. Today the Didrichsen Museum houses more than a thousand works. The selection on display in the exhibition at Millesgården focuses on
international modernism. 

Josef Albers, Karel Appel, Jean Arp, César Baldaccini, Alexander Calder, Sergio de Camargo, Lynn Chadwick, Salvador Dalí, Sonia Delaunay, Albert Edelfelt, Max Ernst, Sam Francis, Akseli
Gallen-Kallela, Alberto Giacometti, Pekka Halonen, Hans Hartung, Henry Heerup, Barbara Hepworth, Gottfried Honegger, Paul Jenkins, Asger Jorn, Eero Järnefelt, Wassily Kandinsky, Yves Klein, Franz Kline, Ahti Lavonen, Fernand Léger, André Lhote, Roy Lichtenstein, Lubertus Lucebert, Marino Marini, Henri Michaux, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Emil Nolde, Carl-Henning Pedersen, Pablo Picasso, Serge Poliakoff, Robert Rauschenberg, Auguste Renoir, Mark Rothko, Georges Rouault, Niki de Saint Phalle, Laila Pullinen, Helene Schjerfbeck, Hugo Simberg, Antoni Tàpies, Esko Tirronen, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Maurice Utrillo, Andy Warhol and Victor Vasarely.

MAY 19 - JUNE 3 2018

Millesgården is proud to present an exhibition with the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), for a limited period of two weeks.

Hokusai’s most iconic work is the woodblock print Under the wave off Kanagawa which forms part of the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, which was published between 1820 and 1830. It is very rare to see so many woodblock prints from the series at the same time as they are held in many collections and are also very light-sensitive. The exhibition will present more than hundred originals and newly-produced woodblock prints that are cut and printed using exactly the same technique as the original. The exhibition is a comprehensive presentation of Japan’s most famous artist.

Hokusai lived in a time when Japan was closed to the outside world. During the Edo period (1603-1868), the country had very little contact with the outside world with the exception of a  few Dutch trading companies. The country was ruled by Shoguns who wielded unlimited power. The cities were populated by a bourgeoisie class comprising craftsmen, actors, poets and geishas. This world of actors is usually described as “The Floating World”. Despite the closed society, Hokusai had seen foreign art and was influenced by it. He was a constant innovator of Japanese woodblock art and his style changed numerous times. And he also changed his name many times. On his deathbed (at the age of 89) he regretted not being able to live for five more years so that he could become a real artist.

Hokusai lived a rather poor life in Edo (modern Tokyo). He primarily supported himself by illustrating books and in the exhibition we present a large number of book illustrations. He also published a series of sketch books entitled Manga, Man Ga, two symbols that mean ‘whimsical picture’ in English. Today, Manga has a completely different meaning and is a Japanese generic term for comics.

An innovator, Hokusai was influenced by European art and, in turn, his art has been a central influence on European art. The woodblock print The Great Wave off Kanagawa, in particular, has been used by artists and illustrators for many different purposes. Occasionally it has been employed to illustrate a tsunami wave. As a matter of curiosity Under the Wave off Kanagawa is also available as an emoji.

MAR 10 - MAY 6 2018

Millesgården Museum and the Chinese Cultural Centre in Stockholm present two exhibitions focused on weaving silk and silk fabric from Nanking.The exhibition project comprises two parts: Weaving Silk and A Dream of Red Mansions.

The exhibition describes and shows the beginning of silk production 1,600 years ago in Nanking (now Nanjing). A traditional loom and weavers from Nanjing will be displayed, that is, the Chinese weavers will weave beautiful fabrics in the presence of our visitors. Copious amounts of silk will cover the walls of the art gallery and, most importantly, a 124-metre long silk fabric will be exhibited. The fabric tells the story, one chapter per square metre, of the Chinese national epos A Dream of Red Mansions.

A DREAM OF RED MANSIONS, the Chinese Cultural Centre 
An exhibition that provides an in-depth study of the literary work A Dream of Red Mansions (transl. Gladys Yang and Yang Hsien-yi, Beijing: Foreign Language Press, three volumes, 1978–1980), written in the mid 18th century and considered a classics of Chinese literature. There are numerous quotations that emphasise the importance of the novel, including: “a Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet” and “a shortcut to knowledge of Imperial China”. The novel comprises a particularly rich gallery of characters, secret intrigues and literary allusions, which has generated
an extensive research industry.

The China Cultural Center, Västra Trädgårdsgatan 2, Stockholm.