National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery of Canada

October 24, 2006 16:12 ET

National Gallery of Canada/The King and Queen of Sweden open the exhibition: Five centuries of the Swedish Silver from the collection of the Rohsska Museum

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 24, 2006) - Today Their Majesties, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden opened the exhibition Five centuries of the Swedish Silver from the collection of the Rohsska Museum at the National Gallery of Canada. The exhibition, on view from October 24, 2006 to January 16, 2007, will showcase some 100 examples of the silversmith's craft from the collection of the Rohsska Museum in Goteborg, Sweden. The objects in this exhibition, ranging from teapots and bowls to candlesticks and shakers, illustrate the history of the silversmith's craft in Sweden and its international influences from the seventeenth century to today.

"I thank the Rohsska Museum for offering us this unparalleled opportunity to discover Swedish design by visiting the different periods in the evolution of silversmith through these objects from their rich collection. When examined more closely, they explain how Swedish design evolved to become an internationally recognized signature," commented Pierre Theberge, Director of the National Gallery in Ottawa.

In this way, the seventeenth century pieces evoke the importance of the exchanges between Sweden and Germany, since a number of Swedish silversmiths studied in that country while German silversmiths immigrated to Sweden. Changing course and influence, the German style gave way in the eighteenth century to a more sober style attributable to the French ascendancy over silver design. The French influence prevailed until late in the eighteenth century as the Swedish artists adopted the rococo motifs that they had seen in Paris. Then, the archaeological discoveries at Pompeii awakened the interest of Swedish artists in classical forms. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the silversmith's craft in Sweden underwent a major transformation with the arrival of industrialization and the mechanization of production. In the twentieth century, as a result of international currents such as Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement, the silversmith's craft in Sweden returned to handicraft objects and rediscovered tradition, combining craftsmanship and industrial production to create luxury objects.

Mr. Theberge added, "Sweden honored Canada and the National Gallery a few years ago by welcoming an exhibition by the Canadian painters of the Group of Seven. We like to see the present exhibition as a form of exchange with our Swedish Museum colleagues and we hope for more such collaborations between our institution and Swedish museums in the future."

This exhibition was created and prepared for touring by Sweden's Rohsska Museum, with support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Swedish Institute, the city of Goteborg and the Embassy of Sweden in Ottawa.
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