Local time
Welcome to ArkDes on September 27th
Café Blom is open as usual

ArkDes is currently closed for refurbishment.

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Architecture through the lens 

Hotel Malmen, Stockholm. 1951. Georg Varhelyi, Carl-Axel Acking, etc. Photografer: Kerstin Bernhard. ArkDes collection.

Did you know that ArkDes has one of the world’s largest collections of architectural photography?

Since the museum was founded in 1962, when the Swedish Association of Architects donated its photo archive, a steady stream of photographic donations has come to the collection. Usually, the photographs were included as part of an architect’s archive, but in some cases, photographers themselves have donated their work to ArkDes.

The photographs that come to the museum as part of an architect’s work process include travel pictures, documentation of a site or place, or the building process. There are thousands of slides from architects who used them to teach and lecture throughout their careers.

ArkDes also has collections from some of the 20th century’s foremost architectural photographers. In 1988, the museum received Sune Sundahl’s1 collection of nearly 200 000 negatives – a unique treasure that depicts Swedish design and society over several decades of the 20th century. Sven Westerlund, Max Plunger, and Åke E:son Lindman are examples of photographers active during the latter part of the 20th century that are included in our collection.

Taking care of photographs and slides is challenging. Both paper copies and plastic film and glass plate negatives must not become too hot, too humid, or too dry. They are sensitive to fingerprints and must not be handled without gloves. Glass negatives are sensitive to vibrations and pressure, and colour photographs can hardly be displayed without being damaged. Therefore, almost all photographs we show in exhibitions are reproductions, and we try to digitise as many of the photographs in the collection as we can.

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    Sune Sundahl, 1921–2007. Self-portrait. ArkDes collection.

    Link to DigitaltMuseum.