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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Millesgården in Lidingö, Sweden

Today we got to go for a real treat.  We visited the home of Swedens's most famous sculptor, Carl Milles.  His mother died while giving birth to him in 1875 and Carl ended up having two siblings and three half-siblings after the father re-married.  Two of his siblings were artists as well, his older sister Ruth Milles was a talented illustrator and sculptor and his half-brother Evert Milles was an architect.

Carl Milles was born in close vicinity to the Swedish university city of Uppsala.  He studied at the Tekniska Skolan in Stockholm where he won a stipend to travel and he ended up studying art in Paris 1897, quite by chance.  Here, he was greatly influenced by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin.  In Paris he also met his future wife, the Austrian Olga Grannar, also a very skilled artist.  They met in 1999 and married in 1905.  The couple had no children.

Carl Milles big breakthrough came in 1902 after he won a competition to create a monument in Uppsala.
Carl Milles does also have a strong connection to the US (here are a few examples of sculptures in other parts of the world than Sweden).  From 1931 to 1945 Carl Milles was professor of sculpture at the Cranbrook Academy at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  His work in the USA includes fountains in Chicago, Kansas City, New York, and St Louis.  Carl Milles became an American citizen in 1945 but returned to Sweden in 1951 and died at Lidingö, where his and Olga's home, Millesgården (The Garden of Milles) is located.  Millesgården was donated to the Swedish people by the Milles' and is now an open-air museum of his work, known as Millesgården.

Here are a few examples of his fantastic work.  I feel that Carl Milles was definitely ahead of his time and many of these sculptures are still unique ideas today.  Photos are clickable and well worth a closer look....

 Littlest Sister and The Ice Skater

 DH and a Boar

 Me and a Genius

DH, Littlest Sister, Dad and Mom admiring the 
view from the lower terrace of Millesgården.

 We did actually go to Millesgården to see a temporary Beatrix Potter exhibition.  It was fun to see a large collection of her drawings and paintings (copies only, Britain does not lend her work to anyone).  Who does not love her children's books? 
Beatrix Potter was economically independent thanks to her books, which in turn made an independent life-style possible, even though her upper class parents did not approve many of her choices, which were quite unusual during the strict Victorian era.  We learned that Beatrix Potter was very engaged in keeping Britain's farm lands and meadows untouched and helped save a lot of land from industrialization together with the organization National Trust.  When she died in 1943, Beatrix Potter left 4000 acres of land to the National Trust, including 14 farms, cottages and many local areas of beauty. Beatrix was interested in farming and did even win prizes for her pigs and her sheep.  Who knew?

Finally before bed, I have to give you a quick stitch update!  The Homespun Elegance ornament got finished up on the plane over to Sweden.  The Prairie Moon fob was stitched up in an evening here after I had tea dyed some of mom's white scrap linen.  I just started on the "A Schoolroom Primer" kit from Milady's Needle the other morning, when I woke up from jet-lag issues at 4.30 AM, Swedish time...  As you can see, the actual horn-book broke on the way over to Sweden, but I do believe that I'll be able to glue it back together again.  Or maybe I can contact Milady's Needle and ask if I can buy a replacement.  What do you think?

Good Night from Sweden, Take Care and Happy Stitching,


  1. What a nice day you guys had. The sculptures are amazing. The stitching looks great too!

  2. What a great sculpture trail, so many photo opportunities.

    Whenever we go out and about we keep an eye open for bears, then hubby has to have his photo taken in front of it! This is the large boy's idea, he says Daddy is a bear, I'm a cat and he's the kitten (small boy is sometimes a kitten too, sometimes a bearcub!)

  3. Oh to be a mouse in your pocket! It looks like you had a great day and nice weather. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful pictures.


  4. Awesome pics, Jenny. Hubby would go wild there. :D Such beauty.... it must be hard for you to come back every time.

    Awwwwww..... Peter Rabbit!!!! Love him... and her of course. :D

  5. Good to know you are having fun. FYI we are staying in Lex. We stitched twice this week, you would be so proud!