Ester Almqvist – I am living in two worlds
December 1 2018–April 22 2019
In her lifetime, Ester Almqvist was a key figure in Swedish art. But today she is virtually unknown. It is time to highlight her artistic oeuvre in its entire scope and present her to new generations.
Ester Almqvist described her existence as living in two worlds. In one, she was with her artist friends, the “sun people”. In the other, she lived with her ageing mother on the farm Fogdeholm in Småland. The art scene was seeing the breakthrough of modernism, but on the farm time stood still.
Ester Almqvist was an art student when art and society as a whole were going through great changes. This was a transitional period, and women were fighting for their rights. Swedish women got the vote when Ester Almqvist was 50, and a couple of years later, the first women were elected to parliament.
Ester Almqvist often painted scenes from the farm and people who were close to her. Her works portray the industrialisation and urbanisation that was taking place around the turn of the century.
This exhibition, which features a vast number of paintings and drawings, allows us to follow Ester Almqvist from her time at the Valand Academy in Gothenburg to the last years of her life in Lund in the 1930s. But we also get to meet several of her friends, colleagues and teachers – including Carl Larsson, Maja and Gustaf Fjaestad, Tora Vega Holmström, Siri Derkert and Vera Nilsson.Together, they give us a picture of the art scene around 1900.
The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Norrköpings Konstmuseum.