"In Our Nature: The Tapestries of Helena Hernmarck"

I think it was back in September I learned of an exhibit of Helena Hernmarck tapestries at the American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis, MN (exhibit now over).  It seemed this would likely be the best chance I would ever have of seeing any tapestry of Helena Hernmarck.  I called a friend who is an artist (watercolor, collage, paper) and weaver, and asked if she would be interested in driving to Minneapolis together before Oct. 14.  We finally settled on Wed., Oct. 10th as weather would be good and roads dry.

Louise Engelbrecht, WI Northwoods Artist and Weaver.

American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Exhibit banner outside ASI Park St. entrance.

We were advised, when paying our entrance fee, to start in the old mansion, and end with the large exhibit room in the new section, that would “blow us away,” so we did.  Photos (without flash) of tapestries were allowed in the old mansion.

“Envelope from Sweden.”

“Kari’s Leaf” and process.

Sorry, but I didn’t catch the title of the above work.  I liked that it was small squares put together as one work, something do-able for a weaver with smaller loom(s).

In addition to the tapestries, there was a 40 minute video we could watch showing Hernmarck at work and her process for creating and weaving the tapestries.  I was hoping it would be available on DVD, but alas, it was not.  Perhaps someday?  And while I’m hoping, I’ll hope for a new book of her tapestries since the publication of “Helena Hernmarck, Tapestry Artist.” 


“Folk Costume Details.”

The inspiration for “Folk Costume Details.”

Sample for visitors to touch and examine.

“Linnea Borealis” by Lis Korsgren.

Last, we went into a large, semi-darkened room holding four large tapestries,… “Poppies,” “Waterfall,” “Leadenhall Market,” and “Moss-klyftan.  In photos, they are fabulous, in person, stunning, they take your breath away.  I had taken only a few photos (some didn’t make it as I must have turned my phone off too soon, trying to save battery), waiting until the end, only to find out No Photos Allowed in this room.  Ah well, we could stand or sit and bask in the artistry.  I couldn’t get over how, when viewing each one up close you saw color, and the further back you moved, the more detail stood out.  It was amazing! 

Note:  The above photos, taken by myself, are published here with the very kind approval of Helena Hernmarck.  

There were also two other smaller exhibits at ASI, including one on Swedish lace, the following three photos were taken the same day.

Bobbin lace.

Variety of bobbin designs.

Lace in fine linen.

As we were getting ready to leave, we decided seeing anything else on this visit would “dilute” the experience of seeing the Helena Hernmarck tapestries, so we left for home.  It made for a very long day, but seeing this exhibit made it very worth while.  Altogether, a very satisfying day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s