100 YEARS IN BUSINESS
On April 24th 1914, carpenter Otto Hilmer Eklund received trade rights to his business “Eklund’s Clock and Framing Store”. The company, that he ran from a loft in Haga, Umeå, was successful and soon expanded and moved to larger premises at Rådhusesplanaden in central Umeå 1923.
A few decades later, in 1951, his son Carl Otto Eklund took over the business and in doing so he changed the name to “Eklund Mirror and Framing Store”. Eklund became the place to go to in Umeå if you wanted to look at art. Carl Eklund early established contacts with artists and graphic publishing houses in Paris. He had close contact with Swedish artist Bengt Lindström who regularly exhibited at Eklund, but also with international artists. For example, already in the 50’s, he arranged graphic exhibitions in the gallery, with among others Estève and Picasso.
In 1968, Carl Eklund decided to take on a new partner, furniture maker Bernt Sundqvist, but before the deal was done Eklund unexpectedly passed leaving Sundqvist on his own with the whole company. Sundqvist renamed the business “Eklund’s Art & Frame” and moved to a new venue at Kungsgatan in Umeå. Carl Eklund’s widow Britta Eklund, who had know-how and expertise, decided to continue working in the new company and did so until her retirement.
In 1980 The Sundqvist family decided to sell the entire company. The buyer, Stefan Andersson, chose to keep the name “Eklund’s Art & Frame”. Britta Eklund, who was still an employee, gave Andersson an introduction and training in the art of making frames. At the time of the takeover, Eklund’s had an ongoing exhibition with Umeå based artists Roland Spolander and Bill Olson.
Throughout the 80’s the business was ran under the name “Gallery Eklund” but in 1993, when it was time for the gallery to move from Scharinska Villan in downtown Umeå to Umedalen, it was changed to “Galleri Stefan Andersson”. Yet another move and a name change has occurred since then: In 2001 the gallery took on the fully-renovated, former boiler house in Umedalen. Sara Sandström Nilsson, who had worked together with Stefan Andersson since 1998, became a second founding partner and since 2005 the gallery is known as “Galleri Andersson/Sandström”.
Galleri Andersson/Sandström opened its second venue, in the gallery district in Stockholm’s Vasastan, in 2008. Today the gallery arranges 14 exhibitions annually, has six employees and is considered one of the most important art galleries in Sweden – and the oldest!
We look forward to another century full of surprises and we hope you will join us!