Experience / Exhibitions / Karin Larsson: Let the Hand be Seen

Karin Larsson: Let the Hand be Seen

Explore the colorful work and legacy of Karin Larsson—a trendsetting artist, designer, and style icon ahead of her time—in a special exhibition at the American Swedish Institute from Carl Larsson-gården.

Karin Bergöö Larsson (1859–1928) was a groundbreaking artist whose approach to textiles and design ushered in a new era of interior design and established the iconic Swedish style that continues to inspire contemporary artists worldwide. The floral motifs, vivid colors, and charming simplicity of her style remain heavily influential nearly a century after her death, inspiring both independent makers and major brands like IKEA.

Join ASI for First Look: Let the Hand be Seen, a special exhibition preview event, on Sunday, June 9. Guests can enjoy a garden-party dinner from FIKA Café and participate in a conversation with renowned textile artist Helena Hernmarck, who was heavily influenced by the work of Karin Larsson.

Many of Karin’s works were forever captured in husband Carl Larsson’s iconic paintings of Swedish life. It was Karin who designed and created Lilla Hyttnäs, the Larsson’s home just outside of Falun in Sundborn, Sweden, which was so often the subject of Carl’s paintings. From the bold interiors to the modern textiles and rustic furniture, Karin’s hand can be seen across many of Carl’s works, which have become some of Sweden’s most famous paintings. The home continues to inspire and is open to the public as Carl Larsson-gården.

This exhibition presents Karin Larsson as an artist, designer, dressmaker, and style icon through her art and textiles. Visitors to ASI will have a chance to explore the impressive depth of Karin’s work, with detailed reproductions of her unique textiles, photographs and excerpts of Karin and Carl’s life, and stories and experiences offering a look at the wider Larsson family.

Karin’s work will be joined by two original paintings by Carl Larsson from ASI’s Collections, including Esbjörn som Tänkare, or Esbjörn as a Thinker, which was recently donated to ASI by Marilyn Carlson Nelson and Carlson Holdings, and which will make its first appearance at ASI as part of this exhibition. The painting offers a glimpse into the Larsson home and garden.

Karin Larsson Digital Press Kit. 

Also on view:

Christine Novotny
Explore the work of Minnesota-based handweaver, educator, and designer, Christine Novotny. Working in a similar spirit to that of Karin Larsson, Christine seeks to bring an energy to handweaving that invites people to reconsider the textiles in their life, and to evolve the practice of handweaving through contemporary handwoven goods and craft education.

Nature Story Family Gallery Experience
Don’t miss the new play-based Family Gallery exhibition designed in collaboration with Swedish artist Stina Folkebrant and local Minneapolis students.

Image credit: Carl Larsson-gården

Featured image: Karin Larsson’s textile “Fyra elementen”
Image credit: Carl Larsson-gården

Gallery photography credit for images 1-3: Carl Larsson-gården
Gallery photography credit for images 4-5: Bukowskis

Exhibition Supporters

Karin Larsson: Let the Hand Be Seen is hosted by the American Swedish Institute, with support from ASI’s members and donors. Special thanks go to Chris and Chick Lane, Pastor Rodney and Julane Anderson, Karen and Leonard Nordstrom, Jay and Jennifer Novak, and Roybn Hollingshead. The exhibition’s media partner is the Star Tribune. Minnesota artist activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.   

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