“The Bernadottes in Black and White” at Nationalmuseum, Sweden

Hans Hammarskiöld, Victoria (b. 1977), Crown Princess of Sweden, 1986
“Victoria (b. 1977), Crown Princess of Sweden, 1986” Copyright: Hans Hammarskiöld

As part of Sweden’s Bernadotte Year, Nationalmuseum is presenting an exhibition of black-and-white portraits of the House of Bernadotte, from King Karl XIV Johan to the present royal family.

The emphasis is on 20th-century photographs, but some 19th-century works will also be on display. Together, they show how the art of portrait photography has evolved in Sweden over the past 150 years. Alongside the photographs, Nationalmuseum will present a selection of graphic art and drawings, mainly depicting early generations of the House of Bernadotte.

The featured photographers from the mid-19th century include Mathias Hansen and Bertha Valerius, who were practising at the time when portrait photography was becoming established as an art form and means of expression.

Lennart Nilsson, Gustav V, King of Sweden, 1950
“Gustav V, King of Sweden, 1950” Copyright: Lennart Nilsson

From the modern age, the featured photographers include Bruno Ehrs, Hans Gedda, Hans Hammarskiöld, Mikael Jansson, Denise Grünstein and Lennart Nilsson. The Bernadottes in Black and White offers an opportunity to reflect on the significance of photography and graphic art to the role of monarch, and on how art depicts the pillars of society. To illustrate how widely distributed royal portraits are, examples of reproductions on china and textiles will be exhibited.

The exhibition runs from 16 June 2010 to 23 January 2011.

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