Women’s Work, Women’s Dreams: A Century of Swedish Women’s Arts

September 24-December 18, 2009

A Lake in the Province of Dalarna, wool tapestry
A Lake in the Province of Dalarna, wool tapestry

“Work and dreamsthe two have long gone hand-in-hand for Swedish women artists as well as for women and men artists throughout the world,” Ann Charters writes in the introduction to Women’s Work, Women’s Dreams, the catalogue that accompanies the Benton’s exhibition of the same title.

But what were the dreams of the Swedish woman whose place was considered to be in the home or whose work was necessary to create a home for her family?

The works in this exhibition reflect the visions of Swedish women who broke from their traditional roles of women, mothers and homemakers to explore their creativity as textile designers, weavers, painters, sculptors and glass artists.

Their art resonates with dream-like images of free-flying birds evoking flight and escape from domestic confinement, year-round idyllic visions of midsummer blossoms, and spare Nordic landscapes filled with greenery, water, space and light.

Women’s Work, Women’s Dreams celebrates a remarkable legacy from a country whose art and artists are little known to American viewers. The Benton Museum is grateful to Samuel and Ann Charters for sharing their extraordinary collection of Swedish Art and Art Glass and for curating this exhibition.