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Exhibition at Fotografiska
Fotografiska showing the exhibition "Places Beyond" by the artist Erik Johansson.
Photo credit: Erik Johansson / https://www.erikjo.com/

Sweden’s key modern museums – from north to south

The Swedish museum is a quality affair. There’s a wealth of notable modern museums to discover across the country, many of which are internationally renowned.

In Sweden, art enthusiasts are in for a treat, particularly if you have a penchant for modern museums. There’s a contemporary Swedish museum for every creative leaning, be it sculpture, installation, painting, photography, design or moving images. Some art establishments serve up an all-encompassing medley while others take a niched approach.

Here’s an introduction to some of Sweden’s key modern museums, from Kiruna in the north to Borås in the south-west.

Kiruna

Konstmuseet i Norr (Norrbotten County Art Museum)

Housed within the modernist Kristallen building in the easily accessible centre of Kiruna, Konstmuseet i Norr is a modern museum featuring art across a broad spectrum – from photography and paintings to sculpture. Setting out to stimulate creativity and inspire debate, its growing collection and temporary exhibitions tie in with societal issues. The Kiruna Forever exhibition, for instance, explores the city’s urban transformation via contemporary art, featuring works by local artists and others. New acquisitions, meanwhile, include works by Pilar de Burgos and Lotta Kvist. Guided tours – most of which target a younger audience – are available.

Uppsala

Uppsala Konstmuseum (Uppsala Museum of Art)

The Uppsala Konstmuseum holds a collection of some 14,000 works, a large chunk of which is contemporary. The key exhibition 'Relationer' (Relations), features a cluster of the Swedish art world’s key modernists – Olle Bærtling, Cajsa Holmstrand, Elli Hemberg, Lars Erik Falk, Kurt Simons and Anna Nyberg. Spread across three floors, this art hub also houses a museum shop, known for its well-curated selection of design objects as well as a café popular with Uppsala’s creative locals. The museum is housed within Uppsala Slott (entrance E) in the centre of town.

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Konstmuseet i Norr

At Konstmuseet i Norr you can listen to stories about Kiruna, and record your own, at the exhibition 'Kiruna Forever'.

Photo: Fredric Alm

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Konstmuseet i Norr

Photo: Fredric Alm

Konstmuseet i Norr

Photo: Emma Sofia Olsson

Uppsala Konstmuseum

Photo: Alex Giacomini

Stockholm

Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art)

The world-renowned Moderna Museet was founded in 1958. Its impressive collection of contemporary art spans sculpture, paintings, photography and film. Meret Oppenheim, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Irving Penn are only a few of the many iconic artists represented. Temporary exhibitions are held alongside the permanent displays and guided tours can be booked in advance. The museum nestles on the idyllic island of Skeppsholmen – a short walk from the city centre, where you’ll also find other notable museums, including ArkDes – Stockholm’s dedicated design and architecture museum.

ArkDes

ArkDes, Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design, is a museum and educational hub putting on exhibitions, lectures and debates centring on the future of architecture and design. The Architecture in Sweden exhibition, for instance, charts 1,000 years of Swedish architecture – including the golden age of Swedish modernism, looking at how architecture and urban landscapes have developed over the last millennium. Guided tours of the library and collections can be booked in advance. ArkDes is located on Skeppsholmen.

Fotografiska (Museum of Photography)

An icon among modern museums, Fotografiska is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Fotografiska doesn’t display its own collection but develops themed exhibitions in collaboration with artists or fellow galleries. You’ll be able to discover works by established and emerging talent from Sweden and beyond – from Paolo Roversi to Emma Svensson. More than a photography museum, Fotografiska invites you to join lectures and have a bite to eat in its sought-after, sustainable restaurant. The museum is located in the vibrant district of Södermalm, a 10-minute walk from Slussen underground station.

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Moderna Museet in Stockholm

Art by Hilma af Klint at the Moderna Museet. The museum is located on Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm and features a collection of modern and contemporary art.

Photo: Åsa Lundén/Moderna Museet

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Moderna Museet in Stockholm

Photo: Åsa Lundén/Moderna Museet

Boxen at ArkDes

Photo: Johan Dehlin

Fotografiska in Stockholm

Photo: Erik G Svensson

Exhibition at Fotografiska

Photo: Erik Johansson / https://www.erikjo.com/

Fotografiska restaurant

Photo: Tove Gustavsson / Fotografiska

Gothenburg

Göteborgs Konsthall (Gothenburg art centre)

Inaugurated in 1923, during the historically significant Grand Jubileum Exhibition, Göteborgs Konsthall has developed into a modern museum of some standing. The temporary exhibition programme features solo and themed group exhibitions, bringing together Swedish artists and international talent – both established and new names. You can also take guided tours and participate in creative workshops, artist talks, film screenings and performances. Göteborgs Konsthall is centrally located at Götaplatsen square – right next to the Gothenburg Museum of Art and a stone’s throw from Röhsska – Museum of Design and Craft.

Röda Sten Konsthall (Röda Sten Art Centre)

Röda Sten Konsthall is housed in an historic boiler house by the harbour, tucked under the Älvsborg bridge. Spread across four floors, you’ll find art in all guises – from sculpture and installations to photography and video art. Aside from exhibitions and permanent displays, there are additional activities to consider, including guided tours, lectures, and creative workshops. A significant art-scene player, Röda Sten has, since 2006, been the organiser of the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA). Located centrally in the Majorna district, you’ll get to this mural-adorned gallery easily on foot or by public transport. A reason to linger a little longer – there’s a resident restaurant popular with locals, with seating overlooking the water.

Borås

Borås Konstmuseum (Borås Museum of Modern Art)

Borås Konstmuseum is a creative hub serving up exhibitions focused on Swedish and international artists across painting, sculpture, photography, moving images and more. There are three floors to discover and the highlights on permanent display are many – a definite must-see is the showcase of renowned local photographer Lars Tunbjörk. Encouraging you to unleash your creativity, the museum houses an artist studio open to the public. Guided tours are available and the museum also organises free “sculpture walks”, taking you on a tour of the city’s most famous works. You’ll soon see why Borås has been nicknamed “the sculpture city”. The museum is housed within the centrally located Kulturhuset building, and notable art galleries nearby include Flaménska Galleriet.

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Göteborgs Konsthall

"This song is for..." by Gabrielle Goliath is shown at the exhibition “Our Red Sky”, at Göteborgs Konsthall.

Photo: Hendrik Zeitler

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Göteborgs Konsthall

Photo: Hendrik Zeitler

Göteborgs Konsthall

Photo: Hendrik Zeitler

Röhsska in Gothenburg

Photo: Hendrik Zeitler

Röda Sten Art Centre

Photo: Joachim Brink/imagebank.sweden.se

Borås Konstmuseum

Photo: Borås Konstmuseum

Borås Konstmuseum

Photo: Borås Konstmuseum

Discover the modern art worlds in southern Sweden

The city of Malmö and the province of Halland are studded with notable art establishments focusing on various genres of modern art.

Sweden has history museums about almost everything

Sweden offers museums with various historical orientations. All over the country, museums bring history to life – not only from Sweden but from around the world.