Can Sculptures Fly?

I like to visit all kind of museums while I am travelling but more than that I like to visit modern art museums especially sculpture sections. I like sculptures because that tangible, concrete art pieces transmit the soul of the artist to me. When I was in Stockholm, someone mentioned about a sculpture garden, Millesgården. It took my attention. I decided to visit this museum even though it wasn’t in the old town area . It is just 7 km away from the city center. You can easily reach Millesgården by public transportation.

Flying Sculptures in Millesgården

Millesgården is an art museum and also was the home and studio of sculptor Carl Milles and his artist wife Olga Milles. Their are buried there. It is a really beautiful house that is  on the cliff of Herserud high above lake Värtan on the island of Lidingö  and has many big gardens and terraces that have a spectacular view of Lake Värtan. There are some indoor galleries where you can see the permanent collections and some exhibitions. Most of the sculptures are on the garden and terraces. Some of the sculptures are placed on the columns or high blocks so that the sculptures look like they fly, hanging in the sky. I mostly spent my time outside to walk around the big sculptures even though it was a very cold day. While you walk among these big sculptures you feel like you are in a dream world. There’s also a museum shop and a café.


Carl and Olga Milles

Carl Milles was from Lagga near Uppsala. He was a very talented sculptor. In 1897 Carl got a grant by the Swedish Handicraft Society and went to Paris to study anatomy at  Ecole des Beaux-Arts.  Olga Milles (Granner) was from Granz, Austria. She also went to Paris to continue her studies at Academie Colaross in 1898. Carl and Olga were introduced by her friend in 1999, they became engaged and married five years later in Munich, 1905.

In 1906 the artist couple Carl and Olga Milles bought a piece of land  to build a home incorporating space for their art studios. The house was built in 1908. As Milles’ income increased from the many new sculpture commissions during the 1920’s, Millesgården was expanded by buying more land with the help of his half brother, architect Evert Milles. It took 50 years to create Millesgården we see today. They created many pieces of art in this house and in 1936 they decided to donate their home, Millesgården, to the Swedish people with the aim to create a museum.

Carl created Little Austria-Olgas Terrace to make a surprise for her 50th birthday. Olga had homesickness for her alpine homeland so that Carl created a terrace in a style of alpine for evocation of Olga’s beloved Austria.  The sculptures you will see below are just some parts of this amazing sculpture garden. If you are in Stockholm, don’t miss visiting this marvelous  museum!

Milles Garden Milles Garden

Milles Garden St. Francis of Assisi

Poseidon 1930

Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology stands naked and holds a fish in one hand , in the other a shell. His hair is made of mussels and his hat is a shell. It is a 7 meters tall sculpture.


Poseidon 1930

The Hand of God 1953

A small man standing in a large hand who balances on the thumb and forefinger. His attention is directed toward something in the heavens, as if he were receiving a message or carrying on a conversation.  It was made for Eskilstuna, and today it can be found in many locations in the world, such as Tokyo, Melbourne and Beijing.

The Hand of God 1953

Europe and the Bull 1926

Europe and the Bull is the largest fountain at Millesgården. The Greek God Zeus transformed himself into a bull in order to carry away the beautiful princess Europe, whom he had fallen in love with. He takes her to the island of Crete.

Europe and Bull Europe and Bull

Indian Head 1936

The indian head is a detail from the Peace Monument which Carl Milles made in St Paul, Minnesota, USA.

Indian head 1936 Indian head 1936

Man and Pegasus 1949

In Greek mythology, Pegasus is the flying horse of the gods, and a child of Poseidon. In one legend, the hero Bellerophon rides Pegasus. Carl Milles created his sculpture in USA for Des Moines in Iowa. It is raised high on a very tall column.

Man and Pegasus 1949_3

Angel Musicians 1949-50

Carl Milles sculpted the angels in the USA and they are represented in fountains around the world. The pan-pipe-playing angel is the main character in the book “Malte möter Ängel”  (Malte meets Angel ).
Angel Musicians 1949-0

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