Wilhelm Kåge–
from china for the masses to dragonfish vases

In 1917 the Gustavsberg porcelain works hired Wilhelm Kåge, a commercial artist. That same year the manufacturer introduced a “dinner service for the working class”. Nationalmuseum is marking the centenary by presenting a selection of Kåge’s diverse art.

Dragonfish and urn, Farsta stoneware, plates Pyro and Arbetarservis.

Dragonfish and urn, Farsta stoneware, plates Pyro and “dinner service for the working class”.

17 June–3 September 2017
At Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum, Värmdö.

Wilhelm Kåge started out as a graphic designer and illustrator specialising in poster art. At the Gustavsberg porcelain works, he applied his design skills to ceramic modelling and decorating, soon mastering the use of clay as a material and an artistic medium. His creations ranged from dinner services and other mass-produced items to unique art pieces with exclusive glazes. The exhibition highlights selected parts of this diverse oeuvre, including faience earthenware, the Argenta series, Farsta stoneware and works by the KAPA partnership (Kåge, Alskog, Pettersson, Arvidsson). Material and glaze samples as well as examples of Kåge’s work as a visual artist are also on show.

The exhibition focuses in particular on the Liljeblå “dinner service for the working class”, which celebrates its centenary this year, having been launched at the 1917 homeware exhibition at the Liljevalchs art gallery in Stockholm. Photos and archive materials provide a snapshot of what life was like for the Gustavsberg workers. Although the Liljeblå dinner service was designed with them in mind, why did they not buy it?

In 1942 Wilhelm Kåge teamed up with a younger colleague, Stig Lindberg, to create G-studion, a goldmine of experimentation where artists could give free rein to their artistic expression under the auspices of the Gustavsberg works. Kåge himself created Farsta-ware, a series of high-fired stoneware pieces in which he explored the possibilities offered by different clays, decorative techniques and glazes.

My Kåge

Part of the exhibition features pieces by Wilhelm Kåge from the Nationalmuseum collection, chosen by eight people who have a connection in one way or another with Kåge and his art. They have then interpreted these pieces in words, images or artworks of their own. The My Kåge project presents Kåge’s art through different voices, showing that it remains highly relevant today.

Free admission

Free admission for all.
Please note, free admission do not apply to the ceramic workshop. 

Opening Hours

Tuesday–Friday 11–17, Saturday and Sunday 11–16, Monday closed.
Closed Friday 23–Saturday 24 June.

Find your way to Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum

The Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum is in Gustavsberg on the island of Värmdö, east of Stockholm.
More abot how to find your way to the museum

Opening of the exhibition

Saturday 17 June, 11–16
13:00 Welcome speach by Berndt Arell, Director General of Nationalmuseum, Inauguration speaches by Marika Bogren, curator, and Christina Kåge.

Guided tours

Tuesdays at 13 and Wednesdays at 15 (in Swedish)

Form, decoration, patterns.

Ceramic Workshop and Porcelain painting
Great fun for both kids  and grown ups.

The ceramic workshop focuses on form, decoration and pattern, taking inspiration from the exhibition. Under the guidance of the museum’s experienced ceramicists, visitors can try their hand at shaping and decorating clay, while learning about different techniques, colours and glazes. 

You also have the opportunity to have a go at porcelain painting. Buy the porcelain of your choice from the museum shop, maybe a cup or a plate, and let the creativity and the colours flow!

Time: 29 June–13 August,
Drop-in 12–16, everyThursday–Sunday.
Location: The Workshop, Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum, Värmdö
Admission, ceramic workshop: 195 kr/person, all artist's materials and instructions are included.
Admission, procelain painting: Depending on  the procelain you chose. 

Porcelain Day

Information will be presented shortly .


Marika Bogren, curator at Nationalmuseum, talks about  Wilhelm Kåge
Time:Thursday, 24 August,19:00
Location: Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum, Värmdö

Wilhelm Kåge, De runda formernas servis, dekor  Spaljé.

Skål ur serien Cintra
Wilhelm Kåge, skål ur serien Argenta.

Wilhelm Kåge, fat i fajans

Wilhelm Kåge, Drakmamma

The images above: Jug,model WB, with décor Spaljé, Bowl, Cintra, Bowl Argenta, Faiance plate, Dragon.

The Gustavsberg Collection

Most objects in the exhibition are part of the Gustavsberg collection, among some 40000 other pieces ranging from studio-made ornaments and display vases to familiar tableware and heritage sanitaryware to enamel and plastic artefacts manufactured at Gustavsberg works.

Nationalmuseum @
Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum

In 2000 the then owner, the Swedish Cooperative Union (KF), donated the collection to the Swedish state and Nationalmuseum, which has managed it since that time. During this summer (2017), Nationalmuseum is also responsible for the running of the porcelain museum. 

Read more about the Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum.




Art Library and Museum Archives,
Holmamiralens väg 2,
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm 

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