|Design, Sigvard Bernadotte
5 December15 March
design by Sigvard Bernadotte
The immediate prompt for Nationalmuseums
exhibition of Sigvard Bernadottes work is that the
designer has attained the honourable age of 90 years.
There is, however, another reason the need to
organize the incomplete documentation of his achievements
in applied art and industrial design.
The image taking shape in the rearview mirror is of a
multi-faceted artist. What first comes to mind is his
work in silver. In the 1930s, he was responsible for the
renewal of Georg Jensens collection, and a contract
between the company and the designer, signed in December
1930, has never been annulled.
Besides silver, Bernadotte has worked in such diverse
materials as ceramics, glass, tin, plastic and textiles,
to name a few. He has designed literary volumes,
furniture and entire interiors. One of his earliest
assignments was to design the poster for Swedens
first sound motion picture.
Bernadottes career in design divides easiest into
two parts: one working with Acton Bjorn in Copenhagen,
and one working from his own design office in Stockholm.
A large number of designers were employed in both
companies. Work in industrial design widened Sigvard
Bernadottes range he was called on to design
everything from thermos flasks to plastic kitchen
Coffee kettles, design by Sigvard
Bernadotte was one of the founders of the
Swedish industrial designers society, SID (Föreningen
Svenksa Industridesigners), and was for many years
president of ICSID, the International Council of
Societies of Industrial Design.
Few of the royal Bernadotte family have infiltrated
everyday Swedish life to the extent that Sigvard
Bernadotte has. The design establishment he founded
attracts notice even today. His mixing bowls for the
Danish house, Rosti, are still selling. If you should buy
anything in chocolate from the Swedish sweets-makers,
Marabou, you get with your purchase a free look at their
logo, renewed by Sigvard Bernadotte in the 60s.
Even the blue carriages on the Stockholm Metro were given
their colour after consultation with the designer.
Sigvard Bernadotte began working with design almost 70
years ago, so the exhibition has many items familiar to
Swedes for much of this century. His style has been
described as elegant, with an eye to the wider,
international scene, and at its best, characteristic of
Exihibitions Sigvard Bernadotte at Nationalmuseum