Osvald Sirén – a chinese dream world


Osvald Sirén – a chinese dream world

Join us for a lecture about the art historian Osvald Sirén and his great work to make the Western world appreciate and understand chinese art and culture. Held by Minna Törmä, PhD.

Osvald Sirén (1879-1966), art historian and pioneer of chinese art studies in Western academia, created for himself an oriental enclave just outside Stockholm, on the island of Lidingö. Architectural details like the balustrades, the slightly curving roof of the veranda and the moon door connecting the two parts of his living room betrayed the owner’s fascination with chinese detail. Sirén had acquired his Chinese objects on one hand as materials for research; however, photographs of the interiors reveal that other motivations were at play as well. The paintings, ceramics, tomb figurines and furniture were souvenirs from travels in East Asia, arrayed around his home to facilitate a kind of role-play by transporting the owner to ’another world’ in his imagination.

For two decades the academic work of Minna Törmä has circled around the gigantic effort of Osvald Sirén in increasing the western world’s understanding of chinese art and culture. Minna Törmä has published the book ”Enchanted by Lohan’s; Osvald Siren’s Journey into Chinese Art” and is currently teaching and supervising doctorial students at the University of Glasgow.

The lecture is held in english and is a collaboration with Friends of the Röhsska Museum and the Oriental Ceramic Society of Sweden. Free admission for members of Friends of the Röhsska Museum and the Röhsska Museum and the Oriental Ceramic Society of Sweden.

Adults 60 SEK (single entry)
Annual pass 100 SEK
Free admission under the age of 25

Sammanfattning på svenska
Hör Minna Törmä, PhD berätta om konsthistorikern Osvalds Siréns privata kinesiska samling på Lidingö. Samlingen innehåller bland annat arkitektoniska detaljer, målningar, keramik, möbler och gravfigurer och hans hem beskrivs som en kinesisk drömvärld. Föreläsningen ges på engelska.

Top image: Living room of Osvald Sirén in Lidingö. Taken by Sirén 1931-32.  Faculty of Arts, Helsingfors University.