When we visited Stockholm, the city experienced temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius. In the narrow lanes of Stockholm’s Old Town Gamla stan it got too hot for us. So one morning we climbed onboard one of the old passenger ships that would take us out into the beautiful archipelago. This time, however, we did not only want to go sunbathing, swimming and lazing but we also wanted to visit one of Stockholm’s newest tourist destinations and write some lines about it.
Our boat took us from Nybrokajen in the inner city of Stockholm to Hålludden in the municipality of Värmdö. Our goal was the Artipelag art gallery that opened in 2012. Actually, “art gallery” is a far too narrow term because here a truly unique art centre has been created that goes far beyond the traditional museum concept. The Artipelag is located in magnificent nature, and we are sure that it won’t be long before it will be counted among Stockholm’s biggest attractions.
Privately funded by the BabyBjörn founders
The Artipelag is a private project of Björn and Lillemor Jakobson. They founded the company BabyBjörn, which is also known outside of Sweden for its baby carriers and baby rockers. Here in the archipelago, the two art and sailing enthusiasts have made their dream come true in old age.
If one approaches the art gallery from the seaward side, one needs good eyes to make it out. The black-tarred wooden construction blends perfectly into the landscape. Towards the water and on the rocky hills surrounding the art gallery one can see pines and spruces. There are nature trails that lead through this forest. Moreover, the architect Johan Nyrén has created a 800 m long boardwalk that follows the shore and is ideal for use with prams or wheelchairs.
Beautiful and quiet
The place is beautiful and quiet. Below the Artipelag we also went swimming but the sea bottom was quite stony there on the way into the deeper water. Those who want to see the area from above, can go to the roof terrace of the art gallery. Up there the view of the bay Baggensfjärd and the archipelago is truly impressive.
The nature reaches far into the art gallery. Under the stairs to the roof terrace there is stacked firewood. In the basement of the hall you can see a stone slab that was worn smooth by the inland ice and left there during the excavation work. Now it is part of the large self-service restaurant. Throughout the art gallery there are panorama windows that allow wide views into nature. The whole atmosphere in the Artipelag is very relaxed and relaxing.
Changing programme of exhibitions
If you want to know what is currently on at the Artipelag you can read about it on their website. There are no permanent exhibitions. When we visited the Artipelag, we could see paintings and photographs with motifs from the archipelago. Among them were high-ranking works by August Strindberg, Bruno Liljefors, Anders Zorn and Prince Eugen. All exhibitions at the Artipelag are planned and organized on site – the gallerists do not buy any touring exhibitions.
Admission is charged only if you want to visit the exhibition. The museum shop, the restaurants, outdoor terraces and the whole area around the art gallery are freely accessible. Therefore, the Artipelag is also worth a visit if you are not interested in the subject of the current exhibition.
Not only a museum
The Artipelag is not only a museum but also a great cultural centre. Here in the so-called Artbox you can see opera performances and concerts, there are lectures, conferences and various corporate events, and the 1,000-seat auditorium is even used for large TV productions.
How to get there
In summer – especially in fine weather – we recommend the boat that brings you in an hour and a half from central Stockholm to Hålludden.
By car it takes about 20 minutes from central Stockholm. You drive on the road 222 towards Gustavsberg. Parking at the Artipelag is no problem.
Moreover, there are direct buses from Vasagatan (next to the central station) to the Artipelag. Timetables can be found on the Artipelag website.
If you happen to be out in the archipelago on your own boat, there are in-house berths directly below the Artipelag.
The name Artipelag consists of “art” and a part of the word “archipelago”.
Current events, opening times, entrance fees and bus schedules can be found on www.artipelag.se.
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