We had such a good time visiting the Carl Larsson Garden in Sweden! The family home (‘Garden’ means house in Swedish) where Carl lived with his talented wife Karin is still privately owned by the Larsson family but you can have a guided tour which I highly recommend!
I love Carl’s fairytale like paintings but enjoyed learning about Karin’s work the most. She was an incredible interdisciplinary designer / maker and the house is full of her weavings and embroideries as well as furniture that she designed. The way the family lived in their house is so inspiring – painting portraits on the walls and doors, a family workshop for crafts and everything designed to make the perfect use of space.
There’s a great piece of writing about Karin on the Carl Larsson Garden website which I love, taken from a 1997 exhibition at the V&A Museum:
“Karin’s textiles were absolutely original. Pre-modern in character they introduced a new abstract style in tapestry. Her bold compositions were executed in vibrant colours; her embroidery frequently used stylised plants. In black and white linen she reinterpreted Japanese motifs. Technically adventurous, she explored folk techniques and experimented with others. A good example of her bold weaving is the tapestry ”The Four Elements” that she composed in 1903 to be hung above the new sofa in the dining room.
At Sundborn the Larssons developed an aesthetic partnership. He was effusive, covering the walls with foliage and flowers, she arranged the living flowers, but in her designs austere and often abstract. The colours of the interior seem to have been jointly decided. Their combined contributions created a perfect whole”
The pictures at the top of the post were taken in the garden outside the house where they had set up lots of easels for kiddos to paint and had the sweetest little artists robes for them to wear! Orla is pulling a totally fake sad face that she experiments with sometimes. She held it like that for me until I had captured it from every angle! The other photos are from the Carl Larsson Garden website which is full of information – go and have a peek! The Carl Larsson gift shop was on a whole other level – they had the most beautiful aprons which they had copied from photos and paintings of the family along with craft kits to re-create some of Karin’s textiles as well as things from Carl’s paintings. I hope we’ll be back one day!