Swedish Grace at Modern Art + Design

Viewing: 15–20 November at Berzelii Park 1 in Stockholm
Open: Mon–Fri 11AM–6PM, Sat–Sun kl 11AM–5PM
Sale: 21 November start 10.00 CEST at Arsenalsgatan 2 in Stockholm. Read more about the sale >

Film: Eva Seeman about Simon Gate >

The 1920’s was a golden era in the Swedish design history, with aesthetics often referred to as Swedish Grace. It was the British journalist Philip Morton Shand for The Architectural Review who was the first to use the term in order to describe and underline the elegance of this style. Refined pieces of furniture and works of art, enhanced by simple lines influenced by classical architectural details.

Throughout this period, many Swedish artists, architects and designers were engaged by the arts and crafts industry. The well-known slogan of the time ‘Vackrare vardagsvara’ (Better Things for Everyday Life) launched Swedish design on the International scene. The exhibition in Gothenburg 1923 initiated the new aesthetics, but it was the Paris exhibition in 1925 – the showcase for what
has become known as Art Déco – that ultimately established Sweden as an important design nation globally and made Swedish design world famous. The Swedish pavilion took the form of a neo- Greek temple designed by acclaimed architect Carl Bergsten, with furniture and works of art by Gunnar Asplund, Carl Malmsten, Carl Hörvik, Uno Åhrén, Nils Fougstedt and Anna Petrus, to name a few. Orrefors and Näfveqvarns Bruk made their International breakthrough at this important exhibition. In Paris 1925, Sweden took an honourable second place, after the host nation France in the total amount of awards.

Other landmark events that cemented the good reputation of Swedish design was the touring exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1927, as well as the Barcelona exhibition in 1929. Shortly thereafter, at the Stockholm exhibition in 1930, the country was going to embrace the progression of modernism and functionalism.

Bukowskis are proud to present a curated selection of pieces from this golden era of Swedish design. Including a set of important Anna Petrus reliefs, designed for one of the three known tables, exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum in 1927 and a rare engraved Simon Gate ‘Bacchus’ bowl, a model that was designed for the Paris exhibition 1925.


  • Eva Seeman
    Eva Seeman
    Head Specialist Design and 20th-21st C Works of Art
    +46 (0)8 614 08 31
  • Camilla Behrer
    Camilla Behrer
    Specialist Design and 20th Century Works of Art
    +46 (0)8 614 08 19
  • Jonatan  Jahn
    Jonatan Jahn
    Specialist Design and 20th-21st Century Works of Art
    +46 (0)703 92 88 60