Skissernas Museum 80 Years!

During the past 80 years, the creative process and public art have been the focus at Skissernas museum. In connection with the Jubilee, the museum reflects on the importance of the collections and its history, through an installation of sketches and archival material covering eight decades. The extensive material reveals the museum’s significant role as a national and international resource for discussions on art in public space. The timeline with press cuttings, photographs, film and audio illustrates both major and minor events through the years, at the same time as the wide-ranging exhibition activities are reflected in the cavalcade of posters. The display on the tables consists of letters, journal entries and travel accounts, written in relation to the acquisition of artworks from all over the world. A slideshow presents documentary photographic material from the museum archives.

Ragnar Josephson, professor of Art History at Lund University and the founder of the Archive for Decorative Art in 1934, combined an interest in creative processes with what was then called decorative art or monumental painting and sculpture. Public art was a productive field for this study, since the artists who received public commissions made multiple studies in which the creative process could be followed. A year earlier, an archive of postcards was initiated when Josephson’s students were asked to make an inventory of public art in their hometowns – this was immediately transformed into a fast-growing archive of sketches. The collection was launched with Prince Eugen’s donation of 19 sketches, and was followed shortly thereafter with donations from several prominent Swedish artists. The year 1934 is an early date for an art institution with a focus entirely on the art of its time. In 1941 when the University donated the building that comprises the present International Gallery, Sweden received a new museum for contemporary art.

The Jubilee is the starting point for the transformational work, which in keeping with respect for tradition and history has been launched in order to lead the museum into the future. The museum will look over the presentation of the collections and at the same time manage, administer, and digitize the collection’s approximately 30.000 art works. After the summer of 2015, the construction will start to add a new entrance and a restaurant to the museum. The aim is to enhance the museum´s role as a driving force in discussions on art in public space, and to also play a major role as an innovative meeting place for cross-boundary discourse on the creative process.