Many private museums popping up in Stockholm

6:12 min

There's been a boom of private museums opening in Stockholm recently, with five starting up over the past five years in and around the city. Directors of three private museums in Stockholm gathered at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in Stockholm's Stureplan neighborhood for a conference discussing the role of private museums in Stockholm's cultural life and how they fit in with their public siblings.

The three private museums represented are: Fotografiska, Bonniers konsthall and ABBA The Museum. They represent the diversity of missions and opinions about Stockholm's cultural world.

Why did they start a private museum instead of a public one? What can private museums do that public ones can't? And what is the relationship between private and public museums? Is it competitive or cooperative?

Jan Broman, founder of Fotografiska, was an entrepreneur before opening the popular museum and that business background guides his direction with the museum.

Sara Arrhenius, founder of Bonnier konsthall, says that her museum is very different than Fotografiska and ABBA The Museum.

One of the things private museums point out as a benefit of being private is the ability to be independent and try out new things.

Mattias Hansson, founding CEO of ABBA The Museum, says that being private and maintaining a large say in how the museum runs was the only way that the band would agree to opening up a museum about them and that they wanted to challenge the experience visitors expect to have at museums. This is a sentiment echoed by Arrhenius and Broman, as well.