History

1989
The Nordic Watercolour Association was formed, an society open for watercolorists from the Nordic countries. The aspiration was to found a Nordic watercolour museum to serve as forum for Nordic watercolour artists and for work, research and instruction in watercolour techniques, paper and paints.
 
1993
Attempts were made to test the validity of these plans. The response from museums and artists was very favourable and a project outline was prepared.
 
1994
The Association inquired of some 40 local authorities up and down Sweden's west coast as to whether they were interested in collaborating in the project. More than 20 replied positively. The Association's plan was that the museum should be located in beautiful surroundings, near the sea and somewhere between Oslo and Copenhagen.
 
1995
The island of Tjörn was selected as the site, on the water's edge in a charming archipelago among sea and rocks. The Association now enjoyed the support of an enthusiastic and go-ahead local authority, and collaborative work began to create a network including museum officials, researchers, knowledgeable and interested artists, teachers in visual arts and designers. A society of friends of the museum was started, which served as an interim board during the initial year. Benita Nilsson was appointed as project leader for this ambitious and exciting cultural initiative, following her several years as chairperson on the local authority arts committee. The first step was to establish the project firmly among decision-makers at local authority, regional, national and Nordic levels. During this time ideas for the museum's range of activities developed further, and the programme for a Nordic architectural contest was presented.
 
1996
The Danish architects Niels Bruun and Henrik Corfitsen won the contest with their design "Mötet", thus concluding the largest Nordic architectural competition ever held (there were a total of 386 entries). The planning of the actual museum construction and of its activities could now commence. The setting up of the museum's sponsoring body - with the Nordic Watercolour Association and the Tjörn municipality as founder members - was completed with Professor Inez Svensson as chairperson.
 
1997-98
Work was mainly concerned with financing the construction and the running of the museum, with matters of planning and with determining the fields of activities. Invaluable assistance in this work was provided by the start of a series of Nordic seminars. The architect Peter Orhstedt, S.A.R., took over the chairmanship of the Foundation.
 
1999
In the spring, the construction of the museum began. Berndt Arell was appointed as museum director and artistic manager for the Nordic Watercolour Museum, and the pace of activities was speeded up.
 
2000
The museum was inaugurated on June 16. Activities at the museum started at once and it was soon clear that the visitor target numbers predicted by the administration were too low. Here follows a list of the exhibitions presented at the Nordic Watercolour Museum, year by year since its opening, together with a note of the many programmes and courses we have arranged. More information is available under the tabs marked ‘Exhibitions’ and ‘Projects’.

Exhibitions

17.6-31.8
On The Horizon

3.9-12.11
Helene Schjerfbeck / My Mother – Home

15.11-4.2 2001
Bodil Kaalund / Pictures from the Bible

In the Thordén gallery:
17.6-31.8
Arto Korhonen / Meetingpoint

3.9-1.10
Solveig Adalsteinnsdottir / Evaporated watercolors

5.10-12.11
Saara Ekström / The black flower

Courses & programs

Courses for adults: 3
Courses for children, youth and adults: 4

2001

Exhibitions

18.3 – 6.5
Line Bergseth / Lilium 

13.5 – 2.9
Salvador Dalí / And the literary circle

20.5 – 2.9
Waterworks / U.S.Watercolours 2001

9.9  2001 – 27.1 2002
Nature / From the museums collection

16.9 – 14.10
Göran Dalhov / Waterways

21.10 – 2.12
Mats Gustafson

9.12 2001 – 27.1 2002
Portraits of Ships

In the Thordén gallery:
18.3 – 29.4
Gunilla Hansson

13.5 – 2.9
Vattenfärg / Watercolour

21.10 – 2.12
Stina Wirsén

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses: 3

2002

exhibitions

2.2 – 17.3
Heli Sammalisto 

2.2 – 28.4
Water / Colour - From the museums collection

23.3 -28.4
KG Nilson 

5.5 – 1.9
Olav Christopher Jensen / Moderation a Section from The Empty Drawing Room

5.5 – 1.9
Contemporary Nordic Watercolour / From the museums collection

8.9 – 13.10
Vanessa Baird / You can´t keep a good rabbit down

8.9 – 13.10
Wet dreams / From the museums collection

27.10 – 2.2 2003
Sol LeWitt

2003

exhibitions

9.2 – 23.3
Ásgrímur Jónsson / Landscape

9.2 – 23.3
Georg Gudni / Landscape

30.3 -25.5
Lars Lerin / Watercolours 1991-2002

1.6 – 31.8
Carl Fredrik Hill

1.6 – 31.8
Petri Hytönen, Glenn Sorensen / Nordic Watercolour

1.6 – 31.8
View / From the museums collection

14.9 – 26.10
Ian McKeever / Watercolours & Gouaches

9.11 – 25.1 2004
Eva & Adele / Day by Day – Painting

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses for children: 8
Courses for children, youth and adults​: 14
Courses for adults: 21
Culture events: 14
Lectures: 13

2004

Exhibitions

1.2 – 14.3
Andreas Eriksson

21.3 – 2.5
Carl-Henning Pedersen & Else Alfelt

16.5 – 26.9
Anders Zorn

10.10 – 28.11
Lena Mattsson / Beyond the Surface

5.12 – 30.1 2005
Nordic Watercolours / From the museums collection

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses for children: 5
Courses for children, youth and adults​: 11
Courses for adults: 25
Culture events: 24
Lectures: 18​

2005  

exhibitions

1.2 – 14.3
Michael Kvium

10.4 – 22.5
Bernd Koberling

5.6 – 25.9
Ivar Arosenius

5.6-31.8
From the museums collection

16.10 – 30.11
Marlene Dumas

4.12 – 29.1 2006 
Wievs and Visions – From the museums collection

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses for children: 2
Courses for children, youth and adults​: 6
Courses for adults: 17
Events: 13
Lectures: 11

2006

exhibitions

5.2 – 26.3
Silvia Bächli

2.4 – 21.5
Troels Wörsel

4.6 – 27.8
Oskar Kokoschka

4.6 – 27.8
Under the surface – From the museums collection

24.9 – 12.11
Gunnlaugur Scheving

19.11 – 4.2 2007
In Between – From the museums collection

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses for children: 4
Courses for children, youth and adults​: 5
Courses for adults: 14
Events: 20
Lectures: 6

2007

exhibitions

11.2 – 22.3 
Astrid Svangren

18.5 – 9.9
British Watercolour

18.5 – 9.9
From the museums collection

23.9 – 18.11
Tony Cragg

2.12 – 9.3 2008
The picture, The child, The tale

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses for children: 3
Courses for children, youth and adults​: 5
Courses for adults: 14
Events: 21
Lectures: 7

2008

Exhibitions

16.3 – 14.5
Saara Ekström

18.5 – 14.8
The light from California

28.9 – 30.11
Colourful moments

7.12 – 15.2 2009
Colour – From the museums collection

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses for children, youth and adults​: 7
Courses for adults: 12
Events: 18
Lectures: 14
Events linked to the ​exhibition The picture, The child, The tale, 2007: 12

2009

Exhibitions

22.2 – 19.4 
Adam Saks

1.5 – 13.9
Elsa Beskow

1.5 – 6.9
Flowers and stones – From the museums collection

22.9 – 15.11
Cecilia Edefalk & Hilma af Klint

22.11 – 17.1 2010
Brush Tales – From the museums collection

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses for children, youth and adults​​: 3
Courses for adults: 9
Events: 24
Lectures: 10

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.

Exhibitions

31.1 – 14.3
Art Comics Life – Contemporary Nordic Comic Strips

21.3 – 2.5
Elina Merenmies

14.5 – 15.9
Andrew Wyeth

19.9 – 5.12
Louise Bourgeois

11.12 – 20.2 2011
Playtime – From the museums collection

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses for children, youth and adults​​: 5
Courses for adults: 
Events: 18
Lectures: 7
Events linked to the exhibition Art Comics Life: 14

2011
In May the Nordic Watercolour Museum won the Göteborgs-Posten ‘Swedish Arts and Business Award’ for its collaboration in “Hållbar utveckling” (Sustainable development). This collaboration has been going on since a time preceding the museum’s opening. The aim of the collaboration is to develop the Gothenburg region by strengthening the role of the arts and social unity.

The jury’s motivation: “The successful long-term collaboration between the Nordic Watercolour Museum and Göteborgs-Posten has resulted in one of the country’s most interesting cultural institutions attracting a large public, and especially of young visitors. The project, with its significant elements of pedagogy and research, has also contributed to positive regional development.”

exhibitions

27.2 – 1.5
Julie Nord

15.5 – 11.9
Emil Nolde

15.5 – 11.9
Here and There – From the museums collection

25.9 – 4.12
Mexico – Poetry and Politics

11.12 – 26.2 2012
New sights – From the museums collection

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses for children, youth and adults​​: 7
Courses for adults: 14
Events: 32
Lectures: 13

2012
The museum's extension with a further 400 square meters was completed in the summer of 2012 and was designed by Tengbom. 

exhibitions

4.3 – 6.5
Anu Tuominen

27.5 – 9.9
Bill Viola

27.5 – 9.9 
Air and light – From the museums collection

23.9 – 2.12
Peter Land

23.9 – 2.12 
Nature – From the museums collection

15.12 – 24.2
Winter Collection - From the museums collection

COURSES & PROGRAMS

Courses for children, youth and adults​​: 12
Courses for adults: 10
Events: 36
Lectures: 14

2013

Exhibitions

15.12 – 24.2 2013
Winter Collection – From the museums collection

10.3 – 5.5
Gunnel Wåhlstrand

10.3 – 5.5 
Joe Grillo

10.3 – 5.5
Tweaks – From the museums collection

26.5 – 8.9
Alice Neel

26.5 – 8.9
Colour Shapes Figures – From the museums collection

29.6 – 8.9
Blade Runner / Anders Ramsell

22.9 2013 – 16.2 2014
Excursions / Martin Jacobson

22.9 2013 – 16.2 2014
The Picture Book in new Guises

Courses & programs

Courses for children, youth and adults​​: 8
Courses for adults: 10
Events: 65
Lectures: 30

2014

Exhibitions

22.9 2013 – 16.2 2014
Excursions / Martin Jacobson

22.9 2013 – 16.2 2014
The Picture Book in new Guises

2.3 – 4.5
Fleeing Hamlet / Olli Lyytikäinen

2.3 – 4.5
Exposures – From the museums collection

18.5 – 14.9
Sceneries / Lars Lerin

18.5 – 14.9
Stories – From the museums collection

28.9 2014 – 25.1 2015
China's Changing Landscape

Courses & programs

Courses for children, youth and adults​​: 8
Courses for adults: 9
Events: 28
Lectures: 22

2015

Exhibitions

28.9 2014 – 25.1 2015
China's Changing Landscape

8.2 – 3.5
Fourth Upon a Time... Eva, Harriët, Kitty, Nadja

8.2 – 3.5
Traces – From the museums collection

22.2 – 3.5
Dr Lakra

17.5 – 6.9
Water Art – From the museums collection

17.5 – 6.9
Primary Force – Iceland in Colour and Water

20.9 2015 – 28.2 2016
Donation Florence & Daniel Guerlain

​20.9 2015 – 28.2 2016
The Adventure can Begin – From the museums collection

Courses & programs

Courses for children, youth and adults: 10
Courses for adults: 6
Events: 28
Lectures: 16