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Gustavsberg


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(established 1825)

This leading Swedish pottery manufacturer has a long and distinguished history. It was established near Stockholm in 1825, importing English industrial expertise, workers, and clays. The company's output in the late 19th century was influenced by the spirit of Swedish National Romanticism, evidenced in a series of Viking Revival vases and similar products. In 1895 Gunnar Wennerberg, with a background in painting, porcelain design at Sèvres, textile and glass design, joined the company as artistic director and brought an Art Nouveau flavour to the company's wares. In 1917, responding to the Swedish Society of Industrial Design's efforts to bring about a closer liaison between art and industry, Wilhem Kåge was appointed as Gustavsberg's artistic director, a post he held until 1947. An early Kåge design for the company was the 1917 Blue Lily service aimed at working‐class consumers, although it never caught on with its intended market sector. He also designed much more radically functional and Modernist work, as with the Practika service produced from 1933. In 1937 the company was sold to the Swedish Cooperative Union and Wholesale Society (KF Konsum) resulting in modernization of the factory, the creation of a sanitary ware division, and the establishment of the Studio. In 1949 Stig Lindberg took over the artistic directorship from Kåge, his teacher, and introduced a series of biomorphic forms and patterns. Later he also designed for the company's plastics division. Karen Björquist became art director in 1980.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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