Press releases

MAY 19 - JUNE3 2018

Millesgården is proud to present an exhibition with the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), for a limited period of two weeks.
Katsushika Hokusai is one of the world’s most famous Japanese artists. He worked in several different techniques and is primarily known for his innovative woodblock prints.
Hokusai lived in Edo (modern Tokyo) during the Edo period (1603–1868). At this time Japan had very little contact with the outside world. Despite the closed society, Hokusai had seen art from other parts of the world and combining the new influences with traditional Japanese woodblock art he developed a unique artistic practice. After his death Hokusai’s art played a significant role in the development of modern art in Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Today, Hokusai continues to be a source of inspiration for many artists.
Hokusai’s most well-known woodblock print is Under the wave off Kanagawa (The Great
Wave) which forms part of the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, first published in
ca. 1830. In the exhibition the entire series is presented, which, despite its title, resulted
in a total of 46 woodblock prints. This unique opportunity to see the full series of prints has been made possible through woodblock prints that have been newly produced in accordance with traditional woodblock printing techniques. In addition to the series of woodblock prints, the
presentation includes a variety of book illustrations and Manga sketch books contemporary with the artist. Furthermore, Millesgården’s collection houses a number of woodblock prints attributed to Hokusai, purchased by Carl Milles. The prints have never previously been displayed.

THE 20th CENTURY! PICASSO, DALI, LÉGER and more from the Didrichsen Collection

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 works by 50 of the most prominent modernists. 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 Akseli
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.

The Artists: 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.


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. 
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