More than a hundred years ago, newlyweds Carl and Olga Milles purchased property on the cliff of Herserud, high above lake Värtan on the island of Lidingö in Stockholm, with the intent of incorporating their artists’ studios into their home.
Designed by architect Carl Bengtsson, the original Millesgarden expanded over the years to its current five-acre museum with sculpture gardens, fountains, terraces, studios, and stairways.
The stunning cliffside park and museum evoke the gardens of Italy’s Mediterranean coast – with the addition of snow in the winter rendering the setting even more enchanted.
Well-known for his fountains and his commissioned works throughout the States, the celebrated Swedish sculptor Carl Milles was artist in residence and professor at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan from 1931-1950, but it is at Millesgarden that the monumental works of Milles seem most at home.
Often naked and somewhat homoerotic, Milles’ sculptures were so often underappreciated in the States that Milles kept a fig leaf maker on retainer.
Open to the public since the late Thirties, Millesgarden recently finished renovations on the lower terrace fountains, thereby insuring that Milles’ renditions of Jonah and the Whale and Europa remain in the company of the gargantuan Poseidon.
Whether you visit in the summer or winter, an afternoon at Millesgarden is as romantic as the love story that produced such an idyllic sanctuary.