timmerstuga till allkonstverk

Carl Larssongården – from log cabin to multi-faceted work of art is written by Torsten Gunnarsson and Ulla Eliasson, former directors of collections at the National Museum and the Museum of Architecture in Stockholm respectively. The book is sumptuously illustrated with recently taken photographs by photographer Per Myrehed and beautifully designed by Arne Öström.

Today, Carl Larssongården – or Lilla Hyttnäs as the property is called – is probably the world’s most publicized home, with a popularity that has survived more than a hundred years of changing fashions and style shifts. Carl Larsson’s pictures of the Larsson home received uniquely widespread publication through their inclusion in numerous albums. A Home, which is the most well-known, was published in 1899 and can be said to be the first Swedish at-home-with reportage, and even conducted by the inventor himself.

The fact that Lilla Hyttnäs has become so well known and loved makes it easy to overlook how different and radical it was in the 1890s. What might be considered old world homeliness today was at that time an example of brazen modernism and liberation from traditional norms. Both Carl and Karin shaped their art and their home according to their own ideas, some of which were related to the English arts and crafts movement.

In spite of its strongly personal features and international associations Carl Larsson’s art and, consequently, Lilla Hyttnäs, his home, came to be seen as something typically Swedish. Today it is easier to see the house as the result of the Larssons’ own creativity and their international experiences. The Larsson home grew under the influence of a number of different inspirational sources from Swedish folk art and the English ideal home to Japanese woodcuts.