Olle Montelius 1923-2015

John Olof (Olle) Augustin Montelius was born in Upsala on 3rd July 1923. He was a Swedish painter, illustrator and theatrical set designer.

Montelius attended the Tekniska Skolan (Technical School) in Stockholm in 1941 - before it became the Konstfack (University College of Arts, Crafts and Design) in 1945 - but, for financial reasons, was forced to leave after a year. In 1942 he started working backstage in Stockholm’s theatres and cinemas - Hillers Decoration, Gerhard Petterssons and Ri Teatrarnas Reklambyrå.

Montelius visited Karlskrona during the autumn and winter of 1943 in preparation for his first exhibition, alongside Anders Liljefors (1923-1970) at the Blekinge Museum in early 1944. He then returned to Stockholm in 1944 to assist the Swedish production designer Erik Söderberg, who, in 1949 recommended Montelius (to the theatre director Lars-Levi Laestadius) for the position as head of production design at Helsingborg City Theater. His first production there was Noel Coward’s 'Delighted for the Moment’.

In 1954, Montelius was the production designer at the Upsala City Theater before working as a children’s book illustrator and TV set designer (1955-1959). Montelius returned to Helsingborg City Theater (1960-1964) and then worked at Gothenburg City Theater from 1964 until his retirement in 1988.

Following his retirement, Montelius advised at Borås City Theater, Theater Halland, Riksteatern, Upsala Stadsteater and Folkteatern in Gothenburg. Examples of Montelius’ work is held in the collection of the Gothenburg University Library.

Olle Montelius died in Gothenburg on 25th June 2015, aged 91.

Olle Montelius