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Léonie Geisendorf

Léonie Geisendorf. Self portrait. ArkDes collection.
Exhibitions
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Skeppsholmen, Stockholm

Léonie Geisendorf

Few have left a more significant mark on Swedish architecture than Léonie Geisendorf. Through original works from ArkDes’ collection, you can get to know an architect who never gave up.

Polish-born Léonie Geisendorf arrived in Sweden in 1938 and quickly became one of the country’s most influential architects. The works in this exhibition include an elegant, 1950s travel agency, 1970s prison cells designed with homeliness and humanism in mind, a monumental modernist school that was both mocked and celebrated in its time, and her dream project – a Catholic church in Stockholm that was never built.

ArkDes’ collection of Geisendorf’s works comprises more than 300 folders and rolls of drawings, 260 boxes of documents, hundreds of photographs, and nearly 50 models that Geisendorf donated to the museum before she died. The collection reflects a person with enormous drive for the architecture she believed in. Letters and newspaper articles reveal the challenges she faced in her projects and her tireless struggle to succeed in a male-dominated field – but also the acclaim and support she received from colleagues and the media.

The exhibition introduces us to the person behind the architect. A person who adorned her walls with images of ballet stars, loved to travel, and enjoyed sketching with friends every week.

Léonie Geisendorf in the exhibition ArkDes Collection

ArkDes’s collection exhibition showcases Swedish architecture and design from the past 150 years. In a dedicated room, we delve deeper into the life and work of a specific architect in an annually changing exhibition. Léonie Geisendorf’s collection is the first in this series.

School for Domestic Education and Sewing, facade sketch. Stockholm. 1960. Léonie Geisendorf, Charles-Edouard Geisendorf. ArkDes collection.

Léonie Geisendorf's Collection

The life's work of one of Sweden's leading architects is stored in the vault beneath ArkDes.