A Most Unique Art Museum in Lund, Sweden
When was the last time you visited a marketplace, park or city square and found yourself admiring a wonderful piece of sculpture, a fountain or even a wildly painted wall?
Masterpieces of public art are all around us. They are often designed with a specific function in mind, bringing unique visual experiences to their observers.
But have you ever wondered how these ideas originated and became memorable experiences for us, the viewers?
In 1934 a Swedish professor of Art History at Lund University-Ragnar Josephson-was so fascinated by the idea of studying how public artwork is born, that he started collecting sketches, models and photographs of this type of art. Professor Josephson could see that an artist’s preliminary work has an historic and educational value all its own.
In the beginning, the collection was basically a number of postcards, but the idea caught on quickly. One of the Swedish princes who was also an artist (Prince Eugene), donated some of his sketches. As word spread, further gifts were made available. Today the collection includes over 30,000 pieces from around the world, and is still growing.
One room has works by all the major Swedish artists. In the international room there are sketches by Chagall, Matisse, L?Ã¯Â¿Â½ger, Mir?Ã¯Â¿Â½ and Dufy. Sculptural sketches by Picasso and Henry Moore are also on display.
The Museum of Public Art (also known as the Museum of Sketches ( ) is the only one of its kind. The exhibitions are so well done that you can actually get a sense of the artistic process unfolding in front of you. A hasty sketch, enormous wall paintings, statue miniatures-all combine to offer a colorful smorgasbord of insightful discoveries.
Consider Matisse’s beautiful stained glass windows in the chapel in Vence. At Lund’s Museum of Sketches you get a direct impression of how his original drawings and designs could evolve into the awe-inspiring beauty we experience today.
Paintings by Sonia and Robert Delaunay done for the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris take one back to a time of exciting, new technologies. More recent contributions-like the fa?Ã¯Â¿Â½ade painting Ma Campagne (1981) by Icelandic artist Err?Ã¯Â¿Â½-reflect revivals of earlier styles; in this case, L’Art Sacr?Ã¯Â¿Â½.
The museum’s Mexican Hall makes a strong statement about the major role played by public art during times of social revolution. The mural art seen here evokes a strong sense of the struggle hope and pride of Mexican nationalism.
These are just a few of the highlights found in this amazing museum. The vast number of art on display is truly impressive. But there is more. Several modern exhibitions are produced yearly, making the museum an ever-evolving center for the study of art.
No matter how many times you visit this oasis of creativity, you will see something new. If your visit is spurred by a need for some refreshing inspiration, these well-displayed minds of the masters will not disappoint!
AÃ¯Â¿Â½ Janet Boynton Runeson