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New portrait of Carl Bildt featured in Gripsholm Castle exhibition

Press release   •   Jun 10, 2014 08:00 UTC

On 14 June, the Crossing Borders exhibition opens at Gripsholm Castle, featuring portraits of Swedes who have pursued their career or made their name outside of Sweden. The exhibition is also on show at Stockholm Arlanda Airport during the spring and summer. A new addition to the exhibits at Gripsholm will be Sanna Sjöswärd’s recent portrait of Carl Bildt.

The exhibition comprises 23 portraits of Swedes who have pursued their career or made their name outside of Sweden. The subjects include musicians, writers, diplomats, entrepreneurs, athletes, inventors, actors and scientists. Their work has taken them abroad, but also across other borders besides purely geographical ones. Their achievements range from setting a new world record in swimming to changing our perspective on the development of global society. The photographers span multiple generations, from Hans Gedda and Denise Grünstein to Sanna Sjöswärd and Magnus Laupa.

The exhibition at Gripsholm Castle will be the first showing of Sanna Sjöswärd’s recent photographic portrait of Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister. Besides serving as Sweden’s prime minister and now foreign minister, Bildt has performed a number of tough assignments on behalf of the international community. Using simple techniques, Sjöswärd has created a distinctive and exciting portrait in the form of a silhouette. Specially commissioned for this exhibition, it has been acquired for the Swedish National Portrait Gallery along with the other portaits. During the spring and summer, the exhibition can also be seen at Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

The Swedish National Portrait Gallery is the oldest of its kind in the world and has been housed at Gripsholm Castle since 1822. The ever-growing collection comprises almost 5,000 portraits. From the outset, the intention has been to feature subjects who have made valuable contributions to Sweden. For many years, this concept was synonymous with the establishment, consisting mainly of elderly men. In more recent times, the collection has broadened its selection to include representatives of widely diverse sections of Swedish society. With the acquisition of the Crossing Borders portraits, some of the great figures of our time have joined the collection – Swedes who are now at least as well known internationally as Carl von Linné and August Strindberg were in their day.

Portraits in the exhibition
·  Gisle Bjørneby, Nina Stemme, opera singer

·  Eric Broms, Zlatan Ibrahimović, fotball-player, 2011

·  Eric Broms, Peter Stormare, actor and director, 2002

·  Peter Cederling, Henning Mankell, author and theatre director, 2011

·  Peter Cederling, Therese Alshammar, swimmer, 1998

·  Fredrik Etoall, Robyn Carlsson, singer and songwriter, 2010

·  Hans Gedda, Tomas Tranströmer, author and Nobel laureate, 2006

·  Hans Gedda, Jonas Gardell, author, framatist and entertainer, 1992

·  Hans Gedda, Anne Sofie von Otter, opera and concert singer, 2006

·  Denise Grünstein, Inga-Britt Ahlenius, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), 2007

·  Denise Grünstein, Barbara Hendricks, opera and concert singer

·  Jörgen Hildebrandt, Hans Rosling, medical doctor and public speaker, 2012

·  Magnus Laupa, Tuva Novotny, actor, 2005

·  Sanna Sjöswärd, Theodor Kallifatides, author, 2012

·  Sanna Sjöswärd, Lennart Nilsson, photographer

·  Sanna Sjöswärd, Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs, 2014

·  Thron Ullberg, Thomas Alfredson, film director, 2008

·  Thron Ullberg, Jan Eliasson, politician, diplomat and Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, 2008

·  Thron Ullberg, Michael Nyqvist, actor, 2009

·  Thron Ullberg, Noomi Rapace, actor, 2010

·  Thron Ullberg, Bill Skarsgård, actor, 2010

·  Thomas Wågström, Ingvar Kamprad, entrepreneur and founder of IKEA, 2010

·  Thomas Wågström, Petra Wadström, biochemist and inventor, 2014

The Crossing Borders exhibition runs at Gripsholm Castle from 14 June to 30 September 2014. Eva-Lena Karlsson, curator at Nationalmuseum, will present a brief introduction to the exhibition on 14 June at 3 pm. A specially developed app is available and can be used as an audio guide to the exhibition, presenting the works through images, text and audio files.

Further information for press
Eva-Lena Karlsson, curator Nationalmuseum,, +46 8 5195 4430
Timmy Cox, First Supervisor of Gripsholm Castle, The Royal Court,, +46 8 402 85 70

For press images
Hanna Tottmar, press officer Nationalmuseum,, +46 767 23 46 32

Sanna Sjöswärd, Carl Bildt, 2014.

Nationalmuseum is Sweden’s premier museum of art and design. The collections comprise older paintings, sculpture, drawings and graphic art, and applied art and design up to the present day. The museum building is currently under renovation and scheduled to open again in 2017. In the meantime, the museum will continue its activities through collaborations, touring exhibitions and a temporary venue at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, Fredsgatan 12, Stockholm. Nationalmuseum collaborates with Svenska Dagbladet, Fältman & Malmén and Grand Hôtel Stockholm. For more information visit

Gripsholm Castle is one of the Royal Palaces and falls under the remit of the Royal Court. Nationalmuseum has been responsible for the Swedish National Portrait Gallery at the castle since 1880.