The building

The building

Carl Eldh’s wish for his own studio came true in 1919. The studio in Bellevue park was designed by Eldh’s close friend, architect Ragnar Östberg (1866-1945), Carl Eldh was the sole user of this studio. It became a museum in 1963 with the collection intact. This is the same place that you are visiting today. Most of the building is open to the public.

The house has brown tarred wooden panels, inspired by a nearby building from the 18th century. Studio building has four distinctly defined parts, each with its own purpose: two light, large studio rooms for ongoing as well as finished projects, rotunda, a small round room for receiving guests and resting, and a separate small living accommodation.

A painter can work anywhere, however a sculptor has specific requirements. The studio has one floor and is equipped with large, wide doors for transporting heavy and bulky materials, like clay, plaster and rebar, as well as plaster models in different sizes in and out of the building.

The big studio’s gable and part of the ceiling are made entirely out of windows that are facing northwest, which gave Eldh the benefit of daylight during a long time throughout the day. The untreated worn-out wooden floors and the great amount of sculptures, witness about Eldh’s hard work. As time went by, the rooms were filled with shelves, cabinets and furniture, as well as artworks in many sizes.

The character of the rotunda differs from the other rooms. The rendered walls and a brick floor mark that this room is to be used for something else other than work. A chaise longue for resting during the workday and some chairs for the visitors were the original pieces of furniture in the room. The rotunda receives the main part of its daylight through a skylight in the cupola and a small window facing the garden. Over the time, walls and floors were filled with art, memorabilia and family photographs.

The living accommodation was not connected to the studio, and could be reached from a separate entrance through the garden. This room was replaced in the 1960s with a little apartment for Brita Eldh (1907-2000), the museum’s first director and Carl Eldh’s daughter. What was once Brita’s residence is now used mainly for temporary exhibitions.

A private garden gave Carl Eldh the possibility to work outside and experience the sculptures in such environment. There were plaster foundries as well as other craftsmanship necessary for a sculptor nearby in Vasastan. One of Stockholm’s foundries that has cast Eldh’s sculptures, Herman Bergman Fine Art Foundry, was situated at Roslagsgatan.

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