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A+O Won Book of the Year at the 2019 Collector’s Awards!

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The recently published Living with Matisse, Picasso and Christo: Theodor Ahrenberg and His Collections won Book of the Year at this year’s Collector’s Awards in Sweden. Here is the jury’s motivation:

“A captivating and unique book, which revolves around Theodor Ahrenberg’s fantastic collections and life. A fascinating life that included many exciting meetings with some of the world’s most famous artists and their works. In this substantial book, we get to take part of material for instance in the form of pictures that never have been published before. A book for everyone.”

The ceremony took place at a gala dinner on February 14th at the Antique Fair in Älvsjö, just outside of Stockholm.

The Collector’s Awards gives prizes to meritorious institutions and people within the art- and antique world. The prizes were awarded for the tenth time this year. They go to Book of the Year, Antique Trader of the Year, Innovator of the Year and Collector of the Year. Three candidates are nominated in each category. These are proposed by the public and by a jury that consists of accomplished people within the art- and antique world.

Living with Matisse, Picasso and Christo was published by A+O in November last year. It is the first monograph on one of the most ambitious, rich and wilful private collections of 20th century art – a collection that so far has been more or less unknown – and its owner, the Swedish businessman Theodor ‘Teto’ Ahrenberg (1912-1989). Ahrenberg was a dynamic person, and for many years seemed to succeed in anything he put his mind into – until his vision collided with governmental Sweden and everything ended in catastrophe.

The book tells the story of how Ahrenberg’s collection was confiscated in 1962 under controversial circumstances by the Swedish government, and was later dispersed. There were also mature plans for building a new, world-class art museum designed by Le Corbusier on the water outside of Norr Mälarstrand in Stockholm. These plans were also dispersed. Living with Matisse, Picasso and Christo is based on the rich correspondence between Ahrenberg and ‘his’ artists, and contains a large amount of previously unpublished visual material. Ahrenberg acquired over six thousand artworks between the late 1940s and the late 1980s – some of which are presented in the book.

Living with Matisse, Picasso and Christo was produced by Staffan Ahrenberg and edited by Carrie Pilto, with text by Monte Packham and contributions by Daniel Birnbaum, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Simon de Pury, among others.

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