Photo: Elina Carlstein/Skissernas Museum
Photo: Elina Carlstein/Skissernas Museum

Research projects

Digitisation and accessibility of the museum’s collections

Generous grants from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences and the Crafoord Foundation have enabled a three-year digitisation project aiming to make Skissernas Museum – Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art into a centre for research on public art and the creative process. The purpose of the project was to make the museum’s collections accessible through digitisation and total completion of the museum’s art database in order to stimulate and promote new and future research into public art and artistic processes in a multidisciplinary perspective.

The project has involved museum assistants, curators and photographers in creating and digitising an inventory of the collections, while reviewing the conditions for their conservation. The project has considerably increased the accessibility of the collections while protecting the original sketches from unnecessary wear and tear.

Book on public art as cultural heritage

Public art – cultural heritage, overseeing and administrating art connected to buildings was the name of a research project conducted in 20112013 by the Public Art Agency Sweden and Skissernas Museum – Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art, the Department of Conservation at the University of Gothenburg and the Department of Art History at Uppsala University. The project was financed by the Swedish National Heritage Board’s research and development programme for the cultural heritage of modern society. The collections and archives of Skissernas Museum – Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art were an important resource for the project’s 25 case studies. The museum also hosted two seminars in which experts in art and cultural heritage discussed various issues relating to public art.

The project is presented by Karin Hermerén and Henrik Orrje in the publication Offentlig konst – Ett kulturarv [Public Art – a Cultural Heritage] (2014). The text is based on the emergence of the Swedish welfare state during the 1900s and the major public investments made in art and environments, which today risk destruction or disappearance. We get to find out how major societal changes affect art connected to buildings. Public buildings today have been taken over by private companies, and rapid changes of ownership as well as changes of purpose affect the supervision and maintenance of art. In addition, public art, unlike older cultural environments, is not seen as part of the building or the location and is thereby not protected by legislation on cultural environments. If the building-related art of the 1900s is to be preserved for the future, experts from the areas of public art and cultural environments must collaborate to a greater extent than they do today. A national compilation of public art must be created and principles for its valuation should be drawn up. Laws and grant systems must be reviewed so that they also include public art in 1900s environments. Skissernas Museum – Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art is held up as a natural authority in the field, and there is a proposal to give the museum increased responsibility for documentation, communication, advice and research concerning public art and related sketch material.

Public art – A cultural heritage can be purchased online and in the museum’s shop. The website of the Public Art Agency Sweden allows you to download a free PDF version of the book.

Master’s course: Art in public spaces

The collections and archives of Skissernas Museum – Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art are a natural resource for the newly established Master’s course on Art in public spaces, which was included in a Master’s programme at the Division for Art History and Visual Studies at Lund University in autumn 2014. Museum Director Patrick Amsellem lectured on memorials and used the book Public Art – A cultural heritage, a research report to which the museum contributed, as required reading. The museum organised a seminar on Public art – an endangered cultural heritage as a compulsory module on the course. The students also made the most of the museum’s collections for their degree projects. The course was a new and rewarding collaboration between the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences and the museum.