Tag Archives: konstnär

A ship, a wreck? – an etching

updated

We are currently switching our bedroom with our study due to the fact that our library has grown and continues to grow. When you take things down from shelves and walls you will find things you forgot other things have been there so long that you become blind to them as this picture.

It is an etching by Erik Ekroth – a Stockholm artist. The motive is probably from Skeppsholmen in Stockholm with a view towards Södermalm. I haven’t found much information on Erik Ekroth, but he was born in 1883 in Boston, USA. He was educated at the Art Academy etching school, in Stockholm, and a pupil of Axel Tallberg (Wikipedia article on Tallberg in Swedish) and active in the Stockholm area. He did etchings for at least two works – in 1913 a collection of etchings was published in Bonniers månadshäften (Bonniers monthly booklets): 100 Stockholmskåkar (100 Stockholm houses) and HAGA. Tolf etsningar af E. Ekroth (Haga – 12 etchings by E.E). Text av Carl Forsstrand. 1918, printed in a mare 200 ex.

There is little economic value in this etching, but it is decorative and shows a moment frozen in time from the past. I’m no expert on ships and how they were handled at the turn of the century (19th -20th), but I got the impression that this is was an obsolete ship. Alongside this is part of the crew or possibly the owner, mayhap considering voyages done or the work at hand. I’ve been given information that this very likely is a row picture rather than a wreck.  Before the dry time, it is usual to turnover ships to inspect or repair the undersides. Thanks to Claes Theliander and Claes Pettersson for info!

Skeppsholmen is an island in lake Saltsjön in central Stockholm. Today four museums are situated on the island including the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. For Over 300 years until 1968 Skeppsholmen was used by the Navy. Many of the buildings on Skeppsholmen stems from this era.

Magnus Reuterdahl

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Olle Krantz (1906-1999) – a Swedish painter and sculptor

One of my favourite Swedish painters is Olle Krantz, he lived and created his art on the island Visingsö. He built an estate on the island a kind of haven which reflected and displayed his art, Tempelgården (the Temple estate). My parents knew his so I had the opportunity to meet on several occasion in my youth. At the time I don’t believe the art was what fascinated me the most, it was the temple and his home; His home is best described as a mix of Pippi Longstockings house and the treasure cave of Aladdin. If my memory serves me correct there where things and trinkets everywhere, mixed with colours and art of different kinds, you could look all day and still not be able to get it all in – I loved it.

Today I appreciate his art, I like the way he used colours, mixed the naive with expressionism and his capturing of the moment.

 

Women by the waterfront
Women by the waterfront

As I was in Jonkoping during the holidays I spotted some of his paintings and photographed them thinking I write a post on him. A few days ago I googled him and found close to nothing, now that’s a shame – but my father use to save articles and such so I asked him if he saved any on Olle Krantz. As I guessed he had and hence a post on a artist from the island Visingsö in lake Vaettern, Sweden.

Self portrait
Self portrait

Olle Krantz was born at Visingsö in 1906 one of eight siblings. In an Interview from 1993 in local paper Jonkopingsposten (JP) Olle talks about his art. The paintings often depict scenes of love, bodily pleasures and bare women others concerns biblical motives and questions concerning his personal faith and yet others are pictures from his life, for example from his childhood on Visingsö, from his first marriage and his later partner Rut who died due to illness.

Dancing women & Wedding carriage
Dancing women & Wedding carriage

In the article he talks about the therapeutic value of painting as a way to deal with the grief and find both happiness and meaning in life. His main purpose with his art was not to get recognition but to feel good and joy within himself.

The important thing in life is not to loose faith in your own abilities, to not lose your spark. Many postpone everything believing that they will do all the fun things when they retire. One should not postpone but do.”  

Boy playing the flute
Boy playing the flute

In 1951 Olle Krantz gave up his day job as proprietor of a small grocery store on Visingsö to become a professional artist to the disbelief of others. But Olle persisted that he would live his dream and so he did.

“…every community should have place for an oaf and on Visingso the oaf is me!

Young woman
Young woman

During the 1940’s he had begun building the cottages that would become a vital part of the Temple estate (Tempelgården) and in 1956 as he bought and rebuilt the Temple that have given the estate its name. The Temple is a copy of the Parthenon and was originally built by the Theosophists by the castle ruin Visingsborg for their world peace conference on the island in 1913. Olle used it as a centrepiece in the garden and as an exhibit hall for his paintings. The estate can be said to be his legacy to Visingso and those visit the island. 

Olle Krantz did his last exhibit in 1996 and he could look back on a life as a professional artist on Visingso that spun over more than four decades. He is one of those who gave all for art for the purpose of art, he was able to create his own universe and open it up for those interested. I believe and hope that there still is a place for this kind of personalities that lets us now that not all need to conform and be conventional and who can show us an alternative view of the world.
Olle Krantz, unknown photographer
Olle Krantz, unknown photographer

The temple estate is still open for visitors, at which one can rent a cabin and live on the estate among his art; in the garden are many of his statues and in the temple are a selection of his paintings. Though it’s been a few years since I visited it I believe it’s still a treat. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any good pictures of the estate but there are several pictures on the home page. 

The temple and art exhibit

The sculptor park

The cottages 

Magnus Reuterdahl

(Quotes translated by Magnus Reuterdahl from an article in JP 1993)
The photo of Olle Krantz is probably from JP though I am not sure, if the owner of the photo wants it removed please send me a mail on inventerare [delete_this]@hotmail.com

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