|The Zorn Project in Sweden and America|
Stockholm and Serendipity...
|Arriving at our hotel in Stockholm on that first visit, we decided to take a walk and find a place to eat. Passing the Royal Library and the busy intersection of Stureplan, we continued south toward the water. Through the large windows of an imposing building on the waterfront, we noticed that people were eating. We decided to give it a try. We were greeted by the equivalent of a Baltic duke in full regalia, who led us to a window seat.
To our surprise, we had our first meal in Sweden at Operakällaren, Scandinavia’s most opulent restaurant. We had heard of it in our research because of Zorn’s friend, artist Oscar Björck, who painted murals in the main dinning room. Opened in 1787 when King Gustav III had an opera house built on the site, the restaurant was in operation when the king was assassinated at a masked ball there in 1792. The story became the basis for Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (1859). A new opera house and restaurant were built at the end of the 19th century.
Our first stop the next day was at the National Museum, which we knew had considerable Zorn holdings. At the information desk we asked where Zorn’s could be found and were told that there were no Zorns. Puzzled, we then went to the Waldermarsudde Museum, the former home of Prince Eugen, an artist and contemporary of Zorn’s. After viewing the collection, we stopped at the museum’s bookshop. We told the woman at the shop of our interest in Zorn and how disappointed we were that there were no Zorn’s on view at the National Museum. She pointed to a poster on the wall and said, didn’t we know that all the Zorns were in Mora, that we would have to go to Mora to see Zorns? We laughed and said that we had reservations on the train leaving the very next day for that town. The poster the woman pointed to was for a jubilee exhibition of Zorn’s work. It turns out that it was the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Zorn Museum (1939-1989).
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