New light on Brita Eldh

Brita Eldh (1907-2000) was the daughter of Carl and Elise Eldh. In 1963, she established a foundation in her parents’ name and then ran the museum on her own until the early 1990s. During the autumn, the Britas archive project has gain momentum. With the help of a professional archivist, we have been able to start a comprehensive list of the material which is now slowly unfolding and telling about Brita Eldh’s work in transforming Carl Eldh’s studio into a museum.

Through the archive, we have approached Brita’s own career in the performing arts, with performances on several stages in Los Angeles, but also at Dramaten in Stockholm. Brita and Elise Eldh moved to the United States already in the 1920s, where Brita developed as a mezzo-soprano and dancer, while at the same time presenting Carl Eldh’s sculptures in new contexts on the other side of the Atlantic. Already we see that the archive includes rich material of photography, with images taken by iconic photographers such as Louis Fleckenstein and Henry B. Goodwin. In the photographs we see Brita Eldh dancing with great empathy and several images can be found both in the National Museum’s collections and The Getty Collections.

During the latter part of her life, as museum director at Carl Eldh’s Studio Museum, she arranged recurring salons with song in focus. The archive material now becomes an important part in understanding the museum’s history and a starting point for new programs, artistic productions and other happenings in the museum.