Art + Archipelago = Artipelag!

"Sculpture in Nature" at Artipelag

It was my mom's birthday last weekend, so I decided to take my parents out on an excursion to the archipelago art museum Artipelag to enjoy some art and beautiful nature. Artipelag is located on the island of Värmdö and was created by Swedish entrepreneur Björn Jakobson (founder of Baby Björn). While the museum is open all year round and can be accessed by bus/car from Stockholm, you can get the full archipelago vibe during the summer months when there is a boat tour to the museum.
M/S Gustafsberg at Nybrokajen

Björn's vision was to create an art experience/museum which blends seamlessly with the beautiful archipelago nature surrounding it. When I visited the museum last year, we concentrated our visit mostly on the indoor exhibition and I felt like I missed most of the outdoor experience. So this time we decided to do the opposite and spend most of the visit outdoors. And, as they have a series of sculptures on display in the surrounding forest, we did get to still enjoy some great art!

Called "Sculpture in Nature", this is a permanent exhibition that features the work of both Nordic as well as international artists. There is a well marked, circular path through the forest and along the water which you can follow in order to see all the pieces of sculpture. Inside the museum, they do sell a pamphlet/map which explains the sculpture. Besides that, entrance to the forest itself is free! 

I loved the experience of hiking on a trail, randomly (or so it felt) stumbling upon works of art which all felt like they belonged in a natural setting. The pathways are not strenuous to walk and range from rustic trails to wooden boardwalks (along the water). I had purchased the map which was good as some of the pieces of sculpture blend so well in with the natural surroundings that we might have missed them. 

Rooftop views

We also made a visit to the rooftop of the museum which is an experience in itself. In keeping with Björn's green vision, the roof is covered in flowering stonecrop plants as well as beehives and herb gardens... making it one with the surrounding forest. Very beautiful and environmentally friendly. And the views over the tree tops and sea are magnificent. 

Museum rooftop with stonecrop plants and beehives

We traveled there and back by boat. It is a nice, guided tour by the company Strömma and available during the high summer season. The trip takes 1½ hours each way on the vintage M/S Gustafsberg and is guided in Swedish and English. This is one of my favorite archipelago boat trips as it goes through the narrow passageway Skurusundet, which is a an impressive sight, and the information provided by the guide is interesting.

Gliding through Skurusundet

With the round trip boat tour, you have approximately 3 hours at the museum before the boat returns. In my experience, this is not quite enough time for lunch (the museum has a nice restaurant), a visit to the indoor exhibition and a full tour of the forest sculpture. You can always do a shorter forest walk or eat lunch on the boat in order to get the most of the visit... or you can opt to stay longer and take a bus home

If you are interested in visiting the indoor exhibition, this summer it is "Rolf Hanson - Retroactive" and it looks very nice (until Nov 28th). If you are planning to do the boat tour, the boats depart from Nybrokajen in the downtown area. The easiest way to get there from the Hotel Rival is either subway (red line to Östermalmstorg) or by taxi (7-8 minute ride). Or, if you wish to get to the museum using other forms of transportation, Artpelag offers good directions on their website.

Beehives placed out to help our bee friends


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