There is a Josef Frank exhibit at Arkdes, and I should go. But I’m reluctant.
Josef Frank, for those who are not familiar with the name, was an Austrian architect and designer who in 1933 fled the rise of Nazism and ended up in Sweden, which led to a hugely successful collaboration with the Swedish design company Svenskt Tenn and it’s founder Estrid Ericsson. Svenskt Tenn is synonymous with good taste here(without being bland and boring), and the vivid textiles patterns created by Frank are indeed a continuous delight.
So it’s no surprise that the museum for architecture and design are having an exhibit further exploring Frank’s works. The reason why I’m probably not going is that another museum had an exhibit about svenskt Tenn and Estrid Ericsson (so not exactly the same) but it did feel like I had paid to just visit the store. I fear the same thing would happen again. Especially as Svenskt Tenn itself are the holders of the archive and keep reissuing prints or using their showroom to highlight certain patterns and tell their story; like they are currently doing with Baranquilla; a pattern created between 1943-45 and named after a port in the Caribbean. They are having actual guided tours in the showroom. Really Arkdes? You want me to cross the stream to get to water?
Svenskt Tenn doesn’t only have stuff of their own design, they also have a selection of fabrics,design and ceramics by others that go well with their style but it must be said that it is very much a look of it’s own. You cannot open a shelter mag without seeing at least one home that has mis-matched Svenskt Tenn- cushion in a white sofa; patterns Josef Frank ultimately goes best with other patterns by Josef Frank.
However it is a nice shop to browse and be inspired; they pay attention to detail and always make sure that everything is lush and inviting, and not necessarily something you have to sell your soul to be able to afford. Somethings come with a hefty price tag absolutely but there are plenty of reasonably priced items also.
But it is THE shopping destination for a certain class of people and that, in combination with it’s rather posh adress, can be intimidating at first. Their tea salon upstairs is very nice although afternoon tea can get crowded, and I haven’t tried their tea cocktails yet sadly. So there is every reason to visit and make a thing out of it when you do.
Basically I’m telling you to treat the place like a museum with free admission ,albeit one that has the best gift shop ever.
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