About the museum

The museum is an inspiring meeting place for art, nature and people, an arena for art based on water, pigment and paper.

Since the start, world class art has been shown; Salvador Dali, Bill Viola, Louise Bourgeois and Swedish favorites like Elsa Beskow, Anders Zorn and Lars Lerin.

The museum offers workshops for schools and businesses, lectures and conferences.

The Nordic Watercolour Museum opened in the summer of 2000 and was designed by the Danish architects Niels Bruun and Henrik Corfitsen, the museum's extension with a further 400 square meters was completed in the summer of 2012 and was designed by Tengbom.

The studios across the water can be rented for a night or an extended stay.

The museum of the year 2010

In 2010 the ICOM (International Council of Museums) and the RSM (Riksförbundet Sveriges Museer) declared the Nordic Watercolour Museum ‘Museum of the Year’. The jury motivated the award with the words: “For the museum’s successful work in demonstrating with consistent quality the range and breadth of watercolour art and in attracting large numbers of visitors as a result. The museum produces world-class exhibitions and is a model for others in the links it establishes between museum, research and education. The museum expands boundaries and displays the world to the local community. A museum that has transformed a community.”

The prize was awarded in Falun on March 24 by the Minister for Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, at the RSM’S spring convention.

The building

The Danish architects Niels Bruun and Henrik Corfitsen won the contest for the building of a Nordic watercolour museum. The contest inspired a total of 386 entries making it the largest such competition in any Nordic country to date. The Danish proposal, called "Mötet" ('Meeting') locates the building on the water's edge, partially hanging out over the sea. The building has an unpretentious appearance and blends well into its environment. It is a beautiful and functional building which fully meets the demands of climate and security imposed by watercolour art. The inner structure of the museum is in concrete and steel, the outer facades in upright red-painted wooden panelling with touches of blue and grey. The total floor area is 2,420 square metres. 

The Jury's Verdict:
"The proposal has a pleasing simplicity," was the view of the jury. "The building is sited along the water's edge and partially out in the water; the encroachment on the surrounding countryside has been reduced to a minimum." The winning proposal is characterised by "an independent and professional approach to use of traditional building materials," and the design blends well with the existing buildings in the proximity.
Moreover the jury were of the opinion that siting the guest studios on the island of Bockholmen, across the narrow sound, "creates a link across the channel thus ensuring that the watercolour museum is an integral part in this spatial arrangement."