When temperatures are high, sheer happiness is drinking chilled rosé and talking long into the bright night (yes, summer nights in Stockholm are quite bright). But on days when the skies dare to let the rain fall, pack up your picnic baskets and go to see some art, music or slice of history. There are great exhibitions at museums all over Stockholm this summer.
Here’s what to see:
Moderna Museet: Yayoi Kusama “In Infinity”
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has dubbed herself “Priestess of Polka Dots.” Indeed, polka dots creep out of every nook of the exhibition rooms at Moderna Museet. The exhibition is the first major presentation of Kusama’s work in Sweden and it covers the artist’s career from 1950s until today. Not only does it feature her drawings, sculptures and paintings but also the film “Self-obliteration” as well as photographs and short movies documenting her performances.
The greatest thing about this exhibition though is that you get to see Kusama’s world through her art as well as actually enter it. Fancy taking a photo ankle-deep in a sea of dotted phalluses? Or maybe you dare to see a distorted version of yourself in the Narcissus Garden? Be our guest.
Tue 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Wed – Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Admission: 150 SEK
Sven Harry’s konstmuseum: Konstnärernas Stockholm (Stockholm by Artists)
The exhibition invites you to explore the Swedish capital through art. You’ll see how Stockholm has changed over the years; the collection includes paintings from as far back as the 19th century. The exhibition takes up the ground floor and then continues all the way up until you reach the rooftop which is open as long as the weather permits.
Visiting the exhibition feels like taking a trip back in time. Are you curious as to what Josabeth Sjöberg saw when she looked out her window to the 19th century street? Wouldn’t it be fun to check whether the café on Oskar Bergman’s ‘Besvärsbacken’ painting (today the street is called Brännkyrkagatan) still exists? Take a notebook and mark the places you’d like to seek out after your visit. And do step out onto the rooftop if the weather is right! Take a picture of what you see and keep it. Who knows – maybe one day it will be in a museum and someone will look out at the same view to see something entirely different.
Anders Zorn, (1860-1920). Stockholmsbild, akvarell, 1881, 23 x 29 cm. Photo by Zornsamlingarna-Zornmuseet
Sven Harry’s Konstmuseum
113 61 Stockholm
Tue Pre-booked groups only
Wed – Fri 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sat – Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Admission: 100 SEK
Historiska: Vikingar (Vikings)
If you’re binge-watching “Vikings,” don’t miss this exhibition! You’ll have a chance to check – to some extent – the historically accuracy of the show. Even if you’re not a fan of Ragnar Lothbrok and his gang, you should go. The exhibition is very enlightening and you’ll get to see the real Vikings, not only as warriors on a battlefield, but as traders, farmers, mothers and husbands.
Try on Viking garments (and take a selfie!) and even if you’re long past the age of ten, do visit the children’s corner and listen to sagas through headphones (in Swedish or English) whilst sitting by Ygdrassil (the mythical tree of life). It almost feels as though the Norse gods were hiding among the branches…
114 84 Stockholm
Winter Hours: 1st October – 31st May
Tue – Fri noon – 6:00 pm
Wed noon – 8:00 pm
Sat – Sun 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Summer Hours: 1st June – 31st August
Mon – Sun 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Stockholms Konserthus: Carl Milles ‘De fyra årstiderna’ (‘The Four Seasons’)
The stairs leading to the Concert Hall seem to be one of the most beloved hang-out spots in Stockholm during the warm months – they’re constantly crowded with people eating take-away lunch, sipping coffee or just basking in the sun. But it’s not only the proximity of food halls and cafés that makes the place attractive, it’s also the beauty of the sculptures in front of the building.
It so happens the statue of ancient poet and prophet Orpheus and his entourage, by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles, turns 80 this year. To celebrate this anniversary, Konserthuset has opened an exhibition of photographs of Millesgården (sculpture garden where Milles and his wife lived) taken by Chinese photographer Yanan Li. Although the exhibition is quite small, you’re in for a real treat. The sculpturesin the photos look as if they’ve been living their own secret life when no one’s looking. A few times a day young music students hold free jazz and classical concerts that take place in the vestibule adjacent to the exhibition rooms.
103 87 Stockholm
Mon – Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Free concerts everyday at 11:00 am, noon, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm & 3:30 pm
Fotografiska: Bilden av Garbo (Pictures of Garbo)
The exhibition encompasses an unique private collection of Garbo photographs and memorabilia. Find out how Lars Nordin, a Swedish advertising executive, has come to possess this rare collection; it a story as interesting as the exhibition itself.
While browsing, you’ll hear Garbo’s characteristic husky voice in the background, set up as muzak. We could listen to ‘Gimme a whisky, ginger ale on the side, and don’t be stingy, baby! (the most famous words uttered by Garbo in her first talking role in “Anna Christie”) on repeat. If you agree, don’t worry, there’s a projection of the movie at 1 pm every day. “Mata Hari” and “Anna Karenina” follow at 3 pm and 5 pm, respectively.
Did you know Garbo had a thing for sleeping in male pyjamas? You’ll find a set on display, too.
116 45 Stockholm
Sun – Wed 9:00 am – 11:00 pm
Thu – Sat 9:00 am – 1:00 am
Admission: 120 SEK
This exhibition is a real treasure for any fan of Henrik Vibskov, the Danish fashion designer and artist. It is a mixture of his older work as well as new pieces. Of course it doesn’t feel as dynamic and bewildering as being next to the catwalk, but still – you’ll get to strut along a row of The Jaw Nuts Piece, enter the Yellow Salami Hand Tunnel and have a closer look at the The Big Wet Shiny Boobies.
111 57 Stockholm
Opening Hours (13 July – 14 August)
Mon 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Tue – Fri 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sat – Sun 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Admission: 100 SEK
Is there another exhibition you’re planning to see in Stockholm this summer? Tell us about it in the comments!