- Mika Vepsalainen
Thielska Galleriet - a Fancy Art Museum in the Royal Park of Djurgården in Stockholm
Join us for a Visitor’s Review at a unique collection of works by some leading Swedish artists, including the largest collection of Edvard Munch’s works outside Norway!
We are happy to invite you to yet another brilliant museum. This experience will be one of those where you want to return over and over again, just for the beauty of the museum!
Ernest Thiel was born in 1859 in Norrköping in Sweden. He was sent to school to Hamburg at the age of 15 to gain work experience in a bank. Back in Sweden, he joined the Enskilda Bank in Stockholm in 1877 and made a career becoming a prosperous merchant banker. He established his own company, the Stockholms Kredit- och Diskontförening in 1891 and became one of the wealthiest men in Sweden.
Through his marriage to the Bonnier family, world renowned publishers, he came in contact with artist and writers. In the Bohemian artisty life, he fell in love with his wife’s lady companion whom he married in 1897 when he moved to Stockholm.
In 1896 Thiel bought his first big painting, Bruno Liljefors’s Morgonstämning vid havet and got inspired so much that soon his Stockholm apartment became too small to house them all.
This is when he had a new home home built. The Art Nouveau palace of the Thielska Galeriet was designed as a home and a gallery in 1907. He lived there together with his huge art collection till 1924 and the museum has remained largely unaltered ever since.
Thiel supported artists of his own generation and all the rooms in the palace are named after painters, such as Carl Larsson, Hjalmar Söderberg and Axel Törneman. The upper floor was his personal idea. He had the walls of the two rooms covered with paintings with glass roofs admitting daylight into the rooms.
Next, move on to the tower room to admire Nietzsche’s death mask and Edvard Munch’s prints. In addition to the twentieth century collection with works by Bruno Liljefors, Ernst Josephson, Edvard Munch, Eugène Jansson, Carl Larsson, August Strindberg and Anders Born, the museum has also a small collection of works by Paul Gauguin and Henri Toulous-Lautrec.
In the surrounding park, you will see several sculptures by artists such as August Rodin and Gustav Vigeland.
Thiel lost most of his fortune in the aftermath of the First World War and he was forced to sell the palace to the Swedish government. As a result, the Thielska Galeriet opened for the public on 26 January 1926.
Unfortunately, this museum is really not for the handicapped or parents with a pram. There is no lift and several stairs in the entrance hall alone. For those who can, this is a real treasure to check!
There is a nice museum shop where you can find art books and stuff inspired by the museum’s collection.
After your visit, have a quick look at the café. Chef Monika Ahlberg, famous for her cook books, invites you to seasonal soups, smoked salmon with basil potatoes, home made sandwiches and pastries. In the summer, you can also bring your own refreshments and enjoy the sea breeze in the sculpture garden of the museum!
Visit and photos by Vesa Turunen.
Sjötullsbacken 8, 115 25 Stockholm