Sven Palmqvist Orrefors Swedish designer handblown glass glassartist

Sven Palmqvist

Sven Palmqvist is one of Sweden’s leading glass artists and makers, along with Edvin Öhrström, Nisse Landberg and Vicke Lindstrand, the legacy of Edvard Hald and Simon Gate. Sven Palmqvist had a restrained appearance and is therefore less known to the public. The Ljungberg Museum hopes to contribute to this change by showcasing its extensive art as a glass artist, painter, designer and sculptor and in particular its innovative potential as an innovator of glass technology. Palmqvist was the inventor of the glass throwing method and was frequently used in the so-called Fuga series. A limited edition bowl in this series, an anniversary bowl, has been produced especially for this 100th anniversary. Sven Palmqvist was a leading sculptor and sculptor and in his old days he started painting again while traveling to France and Italy with his old friend Sven Ljungberg. The Ljungberg Museum displays with enthusiasm and joy Sven Palmqvist’s elaborate and important artwork. The exhibition and book have been realized with the courtesy and help of the children of Sven Palmqvist, Jonas, Petter, Maria and Andreas and Magnus Silfverhielm. Many thanks also to Magnus Andersson from Orostaors Kosta Boda and to Karin Almlöf and Lennart Rudström.

Sven Palmqvist (1906–1984) was associated with glass as a schoolboy. When the huts at the school needed extra form guards as carriers, it was natural to build these in the school hall. Sven came to take an early educational journey from the cupboard floor in Hjärtsjö’s glassware to a place between the great masters, heirs of Simon Gate and Edvard Hald. Sven came to the woodcarving school in Orrefors and then became a design assistant at Gate. Inspired by him to go on to Stockholm and the Technical School and finally the Academy of Fine Arts. Although Sven went on to Paris and Ranson Academy, he did not lose contact with Glass and Orrefors. At the same time, there was an opportunity to work as an engraver and also as an always independent artist. It was 48 years of uninterrupted art activity, a very fruitful collaboration for the glassworks. Sven’s background gave him a strong knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of glass. His technical curiosity and the sure way to design the entire production came. It is impossible to give a complete account of the breadth of the life’s work, but some of the most important expressions should be mentioned. Fuga, the product line produced by Sven, developed and obtained patents in Europe and the US, was successful and provided content for the Handicraft Association’s More Beautiful Daily Goods slogan. This popular convenience product, launched by NK in 1954 and then a success on H55 in Helsingborg.

Ravenna and Kraka are art glasses in unique ways that Sven developed in the 1940s and have long been appreciated. It was clear to Sven that glass can be used in architectural contexts. The baptismal font in the Vantör Church became the first example of how cut glass blocks could be used. Subsequently, the same technology was used in walls, such as in the International Telecommunication Union House in Geneva and in the TV House in Stockholm. Six European glass artists were invited to represent their country at the 1976 Venice Biennale. Sven Palmqvist was nominated by the Italian exhibition committee to represent Sweden.

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