Tuesday 17 June 2014

The archaic smile

John Fowles described the archaic smile in The Magus as being
'full of the purest metaphysical good humour'...
'timelessly intelligent and timelessly amused.'
With this hovering smile, Greek archaic sculptors were thought to be
suggesting that their subject was alive and infused with a sense of well-being.

Well the MillesgÄrden certainly had the same effect on me.
The sculptor Carl Milles and his wife Olga a painter,
came to live in Stockholm in the early 20th century.
The house, sculpture garden, and gallery
were donated to the Swedish nation in the late 1930s.

The breakfast nook in their kitchen with Olga's decorative paintings
on the cupboards inspired by the Delft tiles on the walls.

Sadly behind a window, with some touristy bod
(you know who you are P) reflected in the glass,
Anne's house, built for Anne Hedmark, Carl's assistant,
who lived there after his death in 1955.
The furniture is designed by Josef Frank.
I could have settled quite happily into the armchair
by the fireplace, perhaps listening to this

We visited Svenskt Tenn of course,

where I would happily have chosen any number of lampshades
were it not for their eye-watering prices,
so after a rather sobering discussion with the very cool sales staff

I came away with these scraps
rather specifically described as breadbasket liners.
I will not be burying them under my bread rolls.

A strange thing happened to my camera
while I was there.

It decided to take pictures in black and white for a while.

 I rather like them.
Here is Glenn Gould in black and white.


  1. Another perfect report of your trip, Lucille, thank you. I'd rather like to have Anne's sitting room rug.
    The Gardener would approve of your camera's choice - he took black and white photographs of yesterday's sunset.....

  2. I particularly like the figures skipping over the water !
    And love the bread roll basket liners . In fact I bought some very nice Italian herb rolls today that would grace them perfectly ..... only we've eaten them .

  3. Wow! Looking at your photos, I am starting to get really excited about my forthcoming visit. We will only have a couple of days in Stockholm and I am busy taking notes from your blog, but any ideas about places to visit, not too expensive hotels etc very welcome (there is an email address on my blog, or leave me some information here if that's easier, and you have time. Looks like an amazing place. Enjoy your visit and thank you for sharing.

  4. I'd love to own that gate: such a happy gate and designed with a light touch. Couldn't the price tag peek out from between the bread rolls to make it all worthwhile?

  5. Lucille, I very much enjoyed seeing your reporting on Stockholm. Scandinavian art and design has interested me for decades, and I keep wondering if I might actually ever visit this part of the world. Through my work, I've met lots of Scandinavian folks, and have traded comments with many others via blogging.

    Surely, actually being there is very different from my so far vicarious visiting.

    Maybe you will do another post about how actually being there did differ from any preparatory studying you did?

    Meanwhile...I loved your reporting! It was definitely useful and beautiful. xo

  6. It all looks LOVELY. I could quite happily live in Anne's house. If it were near all my children, of course. Sigh.