Connected with Water Opens at Hillstrom Museum

Posted on November 17th, 2009 by

The concurrent exhibitions Connected with Water (Paintings by Gudrun Westerlund) and Swedish-American Works from the Hillstrom Collection will be on view at the Hillstrom Museum of Art from November 23, 2009 through January 29, 2010.

There will be an opening reception for the exhibitions on Monday, November 23, 2009, from 7 to 9 p.m.  Swedish artist Gudrun Westerlund will be in attendance and will make informal comments on her paintings in Connected with Water.

Westerlund will also guide a tour of her exhibition on Tuesday, November 24, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. in the Museum.  The tour, and the reception the evening before, is free and open to the public.

Westerlund was born in 1953 in Arjeplog, in Sweden, and now lives in Uppsala.  The paintings in Connected with Water are all recent works in her preferred medium of egg tempera.  The works, which the artist calls a “poetical investigation,” are related to and about the experience and meaning of water, especially as connected with the artist’s childhood in northern Sweden.  The paintings are done in an evocative style that is suggestive in imagery, and they have an intimate melding of form and color that draws much from Westerlund’s Nordic heritage.

The artist has had solo exhibitions in locations across Sweden, and has been invited twice to be one of the artists who design rooms for the famous annual Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi in northern Sweden.  Westerlund’s works are found in numerous Swedish public collections.

Connected with Water is presented with the support of a generous grant from the Swedish Council of America, headquartered in Minneapolis, whose mission is to support the promotion of “knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Swedish heritage in American life and to strengthen contemporary cultural and educational ties between North America and Sweden.”  The exhibition is also supported with generous assistance from the Scandinavian Studies Program of Gustavus Adolphus College.

Concurrent with Connected with Water, the Museum is presenting a selection of Swedish-American Works from the Hillstrom Collection, including works by Dewey Albinson (1898-1971), B. J. O. Nordfeldt (1878-1955), John F. Carlson (1874-1945), Henry Mattson (1887-1971), Birger Sandzén (1871-1954), and Carl Sprinchorn (1887-1971).  All of these artists were born in the last three decades of the nineteenth century, they each had prominent careers in the first half of the twentieth century, and, with one exception, they were all born in Sweden (Albinson’s parents had emigrated not long before his birth in the United States).

The paintings and prints in the exhibit include recent donations of works by Albinson, given by Bob and Tucki Bellig and by Colles and Dr. John Larkin, and a recent acquisition of a woodblock print by Nordfeldt, purchased with funds committed by Dawn and Edward Michael.  Also included are several works donated to the Museum by Reverend Richard L. Hillstrom, and two works that have been promised as future gifts and lent by him for this exhibit.  The Museum is grateful to all its donors.

The Museum’s regular hours are weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekend, 1 to 5 p.m.  See the Museum’s website at for additional information, including limited hours during the semester break.


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