One of the visits I've made that made everlasting impression on me and probably ignited (or just revealed) my love of gardens was to Millesgården. It is an incredible outdoor museum in Lindigö, one of the northern islands in Stockholm. I did not know what to expect as I went there, but I felt completely mesmerized while there and thought about that experience and feeling for days after. I am not sure if I would have felt the same effect if I went now, or if weather played any part of the experience as it was cool and sunny - perhaps it was just the right mix of all the senses being superbly tickled that I felt transported to another dimension or another plane. It was pure enjoyment and I did not want to leave.
More than anything I saw in the garden, and I only have certain recollections of sculptures without the help of photos, I remember the feeling. I would experience this feeling again in other gardens I've visited from South Carolina to Italy and France, not really 80 gardens around the world, but a few superb ones mixing sculptures, water (ponds, fountains), trees and plants in such a way that they create movement yet relax the eye, with it body and allow for beautiful meditation and enjoyment of life.
As I did not have a digital camera back then, my photos are all developed and I grabbed a few photos that I felt were closest to what I saw and experienced back then, but none of them can fully depict the feelings these spaces create.
Beautiful Millesgården was the home and studio of sculptor Carl Milles, whose delicate water sprites and other whimsical sculptures dot the city landscape. The grounds include a crisp modern gallery for changing exhibitions of contemporary art, Milles’ elaborately Pompeiian house and an exquisite outdoor sculpture garden where items from ancient Greece, Rome, medieval times and the Renaissance intermingle with Milles’ own creations. There’s also a museum shop and a cafe. (via Lonely Planet)
The Hand of God was one of Milles' last works before his death. A small man is standing on a large hand. He is looking upwards and his body is tense, with fingers splayed. The man is balancing on the index finger and thumb of the large hand, a feat that seems difficult enough in itself, but his exertion is of another nature. He is gazing with rapt attention at something in the sky, as though he were receiving a message or taking part in a dialogue. (via)
Carl Milles’art collection, which includes artefacts and sculptures from classical times and the Middle Ages, is unique, as are the beautiful mosaics and décor that he created in his home. Modern and contemporary art by Swedish and international artists is on show in the Art Gallery, opened in 1999 on the Lower Terrace. (via)
Anne’s house, the home of Olga and Carl Milles during the 1950s, still has its original furnishings, designed by Estrid Ericson and Josef Frank of Svenskt Tenn. (via)
Carl Milles worked on The Hand of God from 1949-1953. This was one of three major commissions he received in the 1950s and completed before his death in 1955. The original was made for the Swedish city of Eskilstuna, and today it can also be seen in other places around the world, for instance in Tokyo, Melbourne and Beijing. (via)
Note: images via here and here.