Svensk version

Bruno Mathsson Formgivare och arkitekt

Foto/Copyright: Bruno Mathsson International AB

Exhibition period
9th February – 27th August 2006

Bruno Mathsson (1907-1988) developed modernism in furniture design and architecture, addressing both general and special problems in the design of furniture, interiors and buildings. The furniture designer is well known, but the architect will be a new acquaintance to most people.

Foto/Copyright: Bruno Mathsson International AB

Iit is 70 years since Bruno Mathsson had his first separate exhibition at the RoehssMuseum of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg (Göteborg). Mathsson´s furniture caught both European and American eyes followingits international breakthrough at the 1937 International Exposition in Paris. One of the first commissions came from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, which needed furniture for the public rooms in its new extension.

Foto/Copyright: Bruno Mathsson International AB

Bruno Mathsson's living room

He always viewed his individual furniture designs in a broader context – that of interaction with the room and with architecture. The living room of his own weekend cottage at Frösakull – shown in the exhibition as a full-scale model – is a précis of his ideas onhousing and furnishing.

Bruno Matssons weekend cottage at Frösakull, 1960.
Photo: Åke E:son Lindman.

The Young Designer

As a designer and architect he was self-taught, in that his learning and ideas came from books and periodicals. The links between design and nature – ergonomic solutions, spatial thinking and architecture – were self-evident.

Photo: Bruno Mathsson International.

Bruno Mathsson´s ideas and his development of "ultimate sitting" were motive forces of his furniture design, reflected in both sitting curves and table heights. He also took an interest in designing the workplaces of tomorrow, his thesis being that people in office environments would work more comfortably and think more efficiently in positions of repose.

The Glass Houses

In 1948 Bruno Mathsson and his wife Karin Mathsson made a journey to USA where they met many of the architects and designers he had read about: Frank Lloyd Right, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames amongst others.

Bruno Matssons weekend cottage at Frösakull.
Photo: Bruno Mathsson International.

International and, in particular, American discussion of housing during the 1930s and 1940s inspired Bruno Mathsson to address the conditions of future living. Bruno Mathsson designed a large number of single-family dwellings, terrace houses, schools, crèches, factories and exhibition galleries. His theme was brightly lit, airy structures with large expanses of glazing, built to a rational modular system. Some 50 houses of his were built in Sweden and abroad.

House in Kungsör, Sweden by Bruno Mathsson, 1954.
Photo: Arne Persson, Arkitekturmuseet.

Scandinavian Design

The interest for Bruno Mathsson´s design was renewd due to his succes at the exhbition Interbau in Berlin 1957. In the 60:s Bruno Mathsson created the chairs "Jetson", "Karin"; "Ingrid", the bed "Ulla" and, together with Piet Hein, the superellips table.

Exhibitionhal in Värnamo, Sweden.
Photo: Bruno Mathssons arkiv, Värnamo.

House in Danderyd, Sweden by Bruno Mathsson, 1955.
Photo: Åke E:son Lindman.

In cooperation with Karin and Bruno Mathsson's fund.

Hedvig Hedqvist, Karin and Bruno Mathsson´s fund.
Karin Åberg Waern, Arkitekturmuseet.

Exhibition Architects
Björn Dahlström
Anna von Schewen.

Bruno Mathsson and Design Culture in the US 1939-1975
Lecture at the museum. Friday 10th February at 3 PM.


Read more about Bruno Mathsson:


Arkitekturmuseet, The Swedish Museum of Architecture
Tuesday-Wednsday (10 am-8 pm) Thursday-Sunday (10 am-6 pm)
at Skeppsholmen, Stockholm