Left: Bildmuseet at Umeå Arts Campus. Photo: Johan Gunséus. Right: Charles and Ray Eames, Stacking Chairs, 1957. Photo: © Eames Office LLC.
Local art champion that mirrors the world Housed in purpose-built premises right on the Ume River bank alongside the architecture, fine arts and design institutions of Umeå University, Bildmuseet is both a local champion and an international player. “Being a public museum for contemporary visual culture that belongs to the university makes us unique in Sweden,” says curator Brita Täljedal. By Linnea Dunne
The seven-floor museum building with its eye-catching larch wood façade was designed by the Danish architect firm Henning Larsen Architects as part of the new Arts Campus that saw the light of day four years ago. Contemporary, cutting edge and confident, it embodies some of Bildmuseet’s defining characteristics. There is no doubt that the connection to the university is a resource. “We’ve got access to the latest research and critical perspectives, not to mention an invaluable pool of talent for lectures and events complementing the exhibitions,” says 54 | Issue 86 | March 2016
Täljedal. Collaborations with academics ranging from political scientists to gender studies researchers are a central part of the package. But much like the academic institution, the museum has an international profile and is highly respected on the art scene abroad. No wonder that the Barbican Art Gallery jumped on the opportunity to host its Charles and Ray Eames exhibition here.
Eames: ‘Fiercely creative’ “While Charles and Ray were active primarily in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, they are still hugely popular and feel very con-
temporary,” says Täljedal, who is the project manager of the upcoming exhibition. “The exhibition will display a large amount of their designs, such as the iconic ‘The Chair’, graphic design work, photographs, educational films, architectural drawings – including that of their own home – and a selection of personal letters. This of course feels apt, considering we’re smack bang in the middle of the art campus here, with design and architecture students next door.” The exhibition, which opens on 17 April, is the largest showcase of the Eames’s work to ever make it to Sweden, and Täljedal is especially enthusiastic about the joyful creative energy it communicates. “It’s amazing how exuberantly imaginative the Eames were,” she says. “They were fiercely creative and definitely ahead of their time, and their work was truly groundbreaking. Moreover, they
Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Danish actor Ulrich Thomsen.