Press releases

Folk tales & Disney
22 feb - 31 may 2020

The exhibition will contain of about 150 art works by illustrator Gustaf Tenggren (1896-1970, from private collections and museums. There will be drawings and prints made as illustration assignments for Walt Disney and other employers but even paintings and drawings made as free art works. The scope for this exhibition is to show the width of Tenggren’s art over the years, from his start as an art student in 1914 to the Golden Books of the 1960ies.The most significant for the understanding of the importance of Gustaf Tenggren is the Disney period from 1936. Original Tenggren artworks from this time will include early Disney classics as Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi. The initial thought is to have the Disney years as a center and build out from it, backwards into the roaring twenties and forward into the forties to sixties, thus illuminating the evolution of American illustration that he was such an important part of. A fairy tale environment and scenography is planned for the exhibition. 

Gustaf Tenggren was one of a few prominent artists during the 20th century that have reached a certain fame in the USA. Starting as an artist in Sweden, his American career spanned more than 50 years and was tightly intertwined with the development of American Illustration Art. Arriving in the USA in 1920, he was established as a sought-after illustrator of the New York commercial art scene. As he had started as a fairy tale illustrator within the German/Nordic tradition, he was hired for illustrating children’s books, a field to which he kept contributing throughout his entire career. Tenggren never went back, nor even visited Sweden, USA was his home for the remainder of his life. Gustaf Tenggren was vaguely remembered and finally almost forgotten, despite a number of his illustrated books being published in Sweden.

Link to exhibition texts. English. 


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.