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Resande i arkitektur: John Åkerlunds liv och verk
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, History and Theory of Art.
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis describes John Åkerlund (1884-1961) as a prominent architect among all those who were active in Sweden in the first half of the 20th century. The aim is to shed light on an extensive and partly unique professional achievement, somewhat overshadowed by those who have so far been paid more attention. The chief source has been the architect’s complete archive from the start of his office in 1909 to the time of John Åkerlund’s decease. The material was donated in 1997 to the Swedish Museum of Architecture in Stockholm. The questions mainly concern Åkerlund’s role among customers and colleagues, his sources of inspiration, and his style and position in the context of the Swedish history of architecture.

The thesis is divided into three main sections. The first deals with Åkerlund’s life. Its point of departure is his studies of electrical engineering in his hometown Borås. Via a decisive period in Dalarna his transition to the architects’ profession is described, with trainee work with the architects Jacob Gate and Torben Grut. His broad activities as manager of his architect office and an official in the National Agency for Education are described,as well as his activities in the Society for the Care of Local Arts, Crafts and History’, in addition to which he also worked as a course director and writer.

The second main section describes Åkerlund’s architectural production, which was widely spread as regards both contents and geography, to which the book’s title alludes. His work and projects are divided into categories in five chapters. They deal with schools with emphasis on folk high schools and Åkerlund’s nine church rooms, with for example Edefors Church in Harads, North Bothnia. I further describe Åkerlund’s work for the Swedish Touring Club with stations from Abisko in Lappland to Grövelsjön in Dalarna and his work with industrial buildings, above all for Boliden AB. The last part of this section sheds light on other projects, for example dwellings and public buildings such as public baths, but also furniture and interior fittings.

The third and concluding main section is a discussion and summary of the contents starting out from the initial questions. Åkerlund is placed in the context of his period and content. A list of projects is attached, comprising all the works that are now known from the start of the office to the architect’s decease. It is divided into fifteen categories and within these presented in chronological order.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Konstvetenskap , 2005. , 398 p.
Umeå studies in history and theory of art, ISSN 1404-8949 ; 7
Keyword [en]
Art history, Architecture, national romanticism, care of local arts, crafts and history, ownhome movement, folk high schools, churches, tourist stations, industrial buildings
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Art History
Research subject
History Of Art
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-476ISBN: 91-7305-681-2OAI: diva2:143534
Public defence
Available from: 2005-03-16 Created: 2005-03-16Bibliographically approved

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