Carl Gunne 1893-1979

Carl Michael Gunne was born on 29th September 1893 in Sundsvall, central Sweden. He was a Swedish painter.

Gunne studied at Uppsala University and in 1920 was briefly an attaché at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1921 he joined the National Museum in Stockholm and in 1923 he became Secretary to a government organisation supporting artistic activity in Sweden, overseeing several exhibitions abroad including two in Paris (1927 and 1929).

Gunne returned to the National Museum in as director of it's Modern Painting and Sculpture department (1932 -1937) where he complied the first catalogue of the museum's painting collection (in 1936).

In 1957, Gunne be became a member of the KVHAA Academy (the Kungl Vitterhetsakademien / the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters)

While Gunne is primarily known for his landscapes and cityscapes (from Uppsala and Stockholm), he also painted portraits - His sitters include King Gustaf V, Gustaf VI Adolf, Prince Eugen, Prince Bertil, Jussi Bjorling and Wilhelm Kage.

Gunne first exhibited in Stockholm (1913) and was a member of the Optimisterna group (The Optimists) - see below - exhibiting with them between 1926-1930). Solo exhibitions included Galerie Moderne, Stockholm (1930); Gävle and Örebro (1939); Konstakademien (Academy of Fine Arts), a Retrospective (1940), Konst-hallen, Gothenburg (1941); Malmö museum (1943), Hälsingborg (1944), Linköping, with Ellis Wallin (1944) and Hälsingborg (1947).

Examples of Gunne's work are held at the National Museum, the Prince Eugen Waldemarsudde museum in central Stockholm and museums in Helsinki, Antwerp and Budapest.

Carl Gunne married Asta Brattström in 1921. He died in Stockholm on 3rd May 1979, aged 85.


Optimisterna (The Optimists)

Optimisterna (The Optimists) were a Swedish modernists artist group formed in the mid 1920s, as a backlash against the Falangen group led by Otte Sköld. The group exhibited at Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm (1926, 1928 and 1932), Göteborgs konsthall (1930 and 1935) and in Borås (1935).

The group's members varied, but at the first major exhibition that the group held in 1926 included Ewald Dahlskog, Bertil Damm, Mollie Faustman, Carl Gunne, Bror Hjorth, Hadar Jönzén, Johan Lundqvist, Engelbert Bertel-Nordström, Edvin Ollers, Ninnan Santesson, Emil Johanson-Thor, Frans Timén, Rolf Trolle, Greta Knutson-Tzara, Edvard Wallenqvist, Martin Åberg, Olof Ågren. Anders Jönsson and Ellis Wallin joined in 1928


Falangen was an art-political association of Swedish artists, which first exhibited at Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm (1922). The association came to dominate Swedish exhibition life during the 1920s. The group's core was made up of modernist breakthrough generation who had studied under Henri Matisse. However, the association also included artists who represented a range of any different styles - from naiveism to classicism. All the Falangen artists were included in the art exhibition Nordic Art at Gothenburg's jubilee exhibition (Göteborgs jubileumsutställning) in 1923. The group disbanded in 1926.

Carl Gunne