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Vigselrummet i Stockholms rådhus och det tidiga 1900-talets monumentalmåleri: historia, reception, historiografi

Qvarnström, Ludwig LU (2010) In Ars Suetica 22.
Abstract
The competitions for the commission to decorate the Marriage Chamber in Stockholm City Law Courts

(1912–1915) have become one of the most important events in the history of mural painting in Sweden.

One of the proposals, by artist Isaac Grünewald, has become a major icon of early modernistic art in

Sweden. Among the participants in the competition we find some of the most important introducers of

fauvism (Grünewald) and cubism (Georg Pauli) into Swedish art. None of the participating artists received

the commission, however. Instead, the architect Carl Westman executed a sketch that was painted by Filip

Månsson’s decorative firm in the autumn of 1915. A fundamental question in the study... (More)
The competitions for the commission to decorate the Marriage Chamber in Stockholm City Law Courts

(1912–1915) have become one of the most important events in the history of mural painting in Sweden.

One of the proposals, by artist Isaac Grünewald, has become a major icon of early modernistic art in

Sweden. Among the participants in the competition we find some of the most important introducers of

fauvism (Grünewald) and cubism (Georg Pauli) into Swedish art. None of the participating artists received

the commission, however. Instead, the architect Carl Westman executed a sketch that was painted by Filip

Månsson’s decorative firm in the autumn of 1915. A fundamental question in the study is why the proposal

by Grünewald, rather than the winning proposal by Pauli or the actual painting, has become an icon in

Swedish art history. By posing this question, the study allows for a broad analysis of the history of early

20th century public art in Sweden and also for a critique of the established art historical writing. At the

same time, the dissertation is also a detailed study of networks, individual artists’ “repositionings” on the

Swedish art scene, art critical discussions and institutional relations during the period 1912–1915. It is also

a detailed study of the construction of the narrative concerning this situation. The purpose of the dissertation

is to describe the diversity of artistic expressions in the early 20th century public art in Sweden, and to

explain the formation and institutionalisation of the story of the Marriage Chamber. This dual purpose is

indicated in the dissertation by its two separate parts, “Situation” and “Narration”.

In part I, “Situation”, the complexity of the historical situation connected to the decoration of the Marriage

Chamber is analyzed and described. The purpose is to demonstrate the complexity of the situation

from which the established story has been constructed. In part II, “Narration”, the formation and institutionalisation

of the narrative concerning the Marriage Chamber are analyzed. The purpose is to point at

key texts, persons, institutions and exhibitions and at the primary material, which has contributed, to the

narrative of the Marriage Chamber. The narrative structure is analyzed with the purpose of constructing

underlying explanatory models.

The dissertation shows that the established historiography of mural painting in Sweden is based on

a selection with modernism as the aesthetic norm. Works of art made by artists who had direct contact

with and were inspired by the Parisian avant-garde have been put forward as milestones in the Swedish art

history. This simplistic and biased narration has not only resulted in an specific selection, where never actualized

proposals for wall paintings have filled the gaps in the narration, but also ignored certain aspects of

the proposals for the decoration of the Marriage Chamber. In the thesis, an interpretation of Grünewald’s

proposal as both connecting to French fauvism and to regional decoration tradition is introduced as an

example of the need for a more diversified art historical writing on early 20th century mural painting in

Sweden. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • professor Karlholm, Dan, Södertörns högskola
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
art criticism, decorative painting, early 20th century, historiography, institutionalisation, the Marriage Chamber in the Stockholm City Law Courts, mural painting, the Museum of Sketches, modernism, nationalism, ornament, public art
in
Ars Suetica
volume
22
pages
511 pages
publisher
Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
defense location
Geijersalen, Engelska parken – Humanistiskt centrum, Uppsala
defense date
2010-10-29 10:15
ISSN
0066-7919
ISBN
978-91-554-7872-8
language
Swedish
LU publication?
no
id
30e67fa3-0347-447b-b52c-8f03df7dcf0c (old id 3410302)
date added to LUP
2013-09-27 14:20:09
date last changed
2018-05-29 09:50:51
@phdthesis{30e67fa3-0347-447b-b52c-8f03df7dcf0c,
  abstract     = {The competitions for the commission to decorate the Marriage Chamber in Stockholm City Law Courts<br/><br>
(1912–1915) have become one of the most important events in the history of mural painting in Sweden.<br/><br>
One of the proposals, by artist Isaac Grünewald, has become a major icon of early modernistic art in<br/><br>
Sweden. Among the participants in the competition we find some of the most important introducers of<br/><br>
fauvism (Grünewald) and cubism (Georg Pauli) into Swedish art. None of the participating artists received<br/><br>
the commission, however. Instead, the architect Carl Westman executed a sketch that was painted by Filip<br/><br>
Månsson’s decorative firm in the autumn of 1915. A fundamental question in the study is why the proposal<br/><br>
by Grünewald, rather than the winning proposal by Pauli or the actual painting, has become an icon in<br/><br>
Swedish art history. By posing this question, the study allows for a broad analysis of the history of early<br/><br>
20th century public art in Sweden and also for a critique of the established art historical writing. At the<br/><br>
same time, the dissertation is also a detailed study of networks, individual artists’ “repositionings” on the<br/><br>
Swedish art scene, art critical discussions and institutional relations during the period 1912–1915. It is also<br/><br>
a detailed study of the construction of the narrative concerning this situation. The purpose of the dissertation<br/><br>
is to describe the diversity of artistic expressions in the early 20th century public art in Sweden, and to<br/><br>
explain the formation and institutionalisation of the story of the Marriage Chamber. This dual purpose is<br/><br>
indicated in the dissertation by its two separate parts, “Situation” and “Narration”.<br/><br>
In part I, “Situation”, the complexity of the historical situation connected to the decoration of the Marriage<br/><br>
Chamber is analyzed and described. The purpose is to demonstrate the complexity of the situation<br/><br>
from which the established story has been constructed. In part II, “Narration”, the formation and institutionalisation<br/><br>
of the narrative concerning the Marriage Chamber are analyzed. The purpose is to point at<br/><br>
key texts, persons, institutions and exhibitions and at the primary material, which has contributed, to the<br/><br>
narrative of the Marriage Chamber. The narrative structure is analyzed with the purpose of constructing<br/><br>
underlying explanatory models.<br/><br>
The dissertation shows that the established historiography of mural painting in Sweden is based on<br/><br>
a selection with modernism as the aesthetic norm. Works of art made by artists who had direct contact<br/><br>
with and were inspired by the Parisian avant-garde have been put forward as milestones in the Swedish art<br/><br>
history. This simplistic and biased narration has not only resulted in an specific selection, where never actualized<br/><br>
proposals for wall paintings have filled the gaps in the narration, but also ignored certain aspects of<br/><br>
the proposals for the decoration of the Marriage Chamber. In the thesis, an interpretation of Grünewald’s<br/><br>
proposal as both connecting to French fauvism and to regional decoration tradition is introduced as an<br/><br>
example of the need for a more diversified art historical writing on early 20th century mural painting in<br/><br>
Sweden.},
  author       = {Qvarnström, Ludwig},
  isbn         = {978-91-554-7872-8},
  issn         = {0066-7919},
  keyword      = {art criticism,decorative painting,early 20th century,historiography,institutionalisation,the Marriage Chamber in the Stockholm City Law Courts,mural painting,the Museum of Sketches,modernism,nationalism,ornament,public art},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {511},
  publisher    = {Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis},
  series       = {Ars Suetica},
  title        = {Vigselrummet i Stockholms rådhus och det tidiga 1900-talets monumentalmåleri: historia, reception, historiografi},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2010},
}