Between 23 June and 21 August, Fotografiska’s large ground-floor F1 gallery will house the exhibition The Image of Garbo comprising photographs of Greta Garbo from different stages of her life and career. Studio photos in silver gelatin, private images or press visuals in which she poses with the great celebrities of the time, as well as numerous other exciting photographs of Sweden’s most famous movie star. In addition, a selection of moving images will be screened.
Many of the photographs have been unavailable for public viewing until now and will be displayed in an exhibition that raises new questions and answers old ones about to this mysterious and mythical personality. Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest Hollywood actresses to ever grace the silver screen, four-time Oscar-nominated Greta Garbo is one of the true icons in the history of cinema. She was as famous for her role interpretations and for her looks as she was for her reclusive and secretive private life. After an abrupt end to her acting career, Garbo managed to stay away from the camera lenses, which only fed the curiosity and mystique surrounding her life. In addition to her cinema fame, she was also known as the richest self-made woman in the United States.
In 1954, after her retirement, she was awarded an Academy Honorary Award, which, true to herself, she did not collect in person. The Image of Garbo follows the woman from Stockholm who became one of the greatest cinematic icons of all time, through her famous and secretive life, on and off the screen.
“I am attracted by Garbo the human being and the phenomenon. The more you find out about her, the more complex her destiny and personality become, raising new questions about her and her life choice,” Lars Nordin explains.
Nordin’s interest in Greta Garbo was aroused when, as a young boy, he became fascinated by her beauty. A fascination typical of the creative Lars who grew up into a true aesthete, an art-loving and highly successful advertising entrepreneur and co-owner (with Per Gessle) of a photo gallery. Twenty years ago Nordin happened on an advert in which an old lady was selling photographs of Garbo. This was the beginning of an exciting journey which, two decades later, has reached its culmination in this exhibition at Fotografiska. It is a journey that has taken Nordin from the lady who advertised her pictures, to her daughter Inger, who resided in New York and who had inherited a container full of Garbo memorabilia from her friend Alice Vrbsky, who was a devoted Garbo fan. As a young woman, Alice worked as assistant to Billie Holiday, was well off and hung out with the jet set of the time and wrote a letter to Garbo every day for many years. The letters were apparently much appreciated by the recluse Garbo, even though she never replied to them. This is just one arresting thread of the many spun around this icon, who continues to provoke our fascination.
Step by step, Lars Nordin has acquired the best parts of the collection that Alice Vrbsky created, who did not want it to be dispersed. To this he has added his own treasures, including Greta Garbo’s signature written with a goose quill. A rarity, as Garbo practically refused to write her name and definitely never in the form of an autograph, which has made her signature one of the most coveted in the world. This fascinating exhibition is a compelling journey to a mysterious bygone world that will fire your imagination. The allure of Garbo the enigma is timeless…
In the exhibition hall we show movies from her career as following:
1PM Anna Christie, 85 min
3PM Mata Hari, 85 min
5PM Anna Karenina, 89 min