Black and white portrait photography.

Ebba-Lisa Roberg, No title, 1927. Bromoil Print.

Conversation In Lady Barclay’s Salon

What intrigues us about these pictures today?

8.10 2021


The exhibition In Lady Barclay’s Salon – Art and Photography around 1900 gives an insight into the visual culture around the previous turn of the century. 300 works from the collections of Nationalmuseum and Moderna Museet reveal the common ground between art and photography. What intrigues us about these pictures today?

We explore this question with two contemporary artists, the photographer Monika Macdonald and the painter Clara Gesang Gottowt, and the programme curator Karin Malmquist, who reflect on the seductive beauty of these images from long ago.

Visual culture around the previous turn of the century

Photography saw the emergence of the pictorialist movement that emphasised the craft itself, and aspired to a new, artistic form of photography inspired by impressionism and naturalism. Various complex methods for developing and printing were devised to “paint” on the photo paper, and works from this period are typically blurred, soft-focused and tonally exquisite.

In art, painters embarked on new, exciting paths, inspired by Japanese art, art nouveau contours and symbolist ideas. In Sweden, national romanticism grew popular through artists such as Gustaf Fjaestad, while Eugen Jansson and others developed a style of mood painting that became characteristic of the period.