Reclaiming Beauty 
10 June - 10 Sept 2023

Mats Gustafson (b. 1951) began his career as an illustrator in the late 1970s. His elegant and subtly expressive watercolours and pastel works expanded the scope and possibilities of fashion illustration. His works reinvigorated the genre. Among his clients we find Hermès, Svenskt Tenn, Tiffany & Co. and Yohji Yamamoto. For the past ten years, Gustafson has primarily worked for the Dior Fashion House. 

Side by side with fashion illustration, his brush strokes have conjured up portraits: of people, stones, and swans. He turns his gaze repeatedly to the nature on Long Island in the U.S, where he has lived for 20 years. His work has recently been exhibited in the Nordic Watercolour Museum and CFHILL.

Ted Muehling (b. 1953) has designed jewellery and decorative objects inspired by organic forms in nature since 1976. In his New York City studio, he produces pieces using semi-precious stones, metals, pearls, horn, plastic and wood. Boxes, jewellery, vases, a mirror; often unique pieces, dedicated to a friend. Always with nature as a starting point. Avoiding the conventions and limitations of industrial design, he works on his own designs in an artisanal fashion, where time is not an obstacle and quantity is not a necessity.

The Gustafson and Muehling art shares a common language as they explore textures. The texture of fabrics, skin, shells, sand, stone and metals. Muehling’s cabinet of curiosities with collections of natural artefacts and ancient fossils, and Gustafson’s solitary watercolour stones and haute couture of rapid brush strokes, address the eternal questions of life’s transitory nature – memento mori.

The exhibition at Millesgården shows the two artists’ work side by side in a spirited environment – with antique portrait busts, Baroque furnishings and cabinets of curiosities filled with the wonders of nature. The curator is designer Tom Hedqvist (b. 1948).

For further press info,
please contact Thomas Hägg, or +46 (0)708-723806.

High res press photos for download: Press images Reclaiming Beauty


Millesgården have, through Sotheby's acquired two Roman marble figures of dogs, from the 2nd century AD. They were at the end of 1930s offered for sale along with the Actaeonsculpture Carl Milles bought. The sculpture Milles bought depicts a recoiling man with traces of canine jaws and paws on the thighs. Milles acquired only the male figure, without dogs.

Actaeon was, according to Greek mythology, the grandson of the King of Thebes, and a skilled hunter. During a hunt with his two dogs, he wanders into a forbidden forest and sees the hunting goddess Artemis bathing naked. Artemis discovers him and in anger she transforms him into a deer, then the hunter's own dogs attack and tear him to pieces. At the British Museum in London there is a sculpture group of the same theme, including dogs, but on a smaller scale. In this sculpture the antlers are starting to grow out of Actaeons head.

The acquisition complements Millesgården´s collection of antiques and also enables research on Carl Milles and his collection of antique collecting, why he made the choices he made  when purchasing antique sculpture, and also research on this specific theme in antique sculpture.


The aquisition is made possible thanks to a generous contribution by Millesgården´s friends association. 


Actaeon in the antiques collection at Millesgården. Photo: Yanan Li.