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Almedalen Week, a major event in Swedish politics, takes place annually in Visby on the island of Gotland between in the first week of July. Artworks’ Jenny Danielsson sat down with Karolina Bertorp to discuss the free and open for all event she is hosting and moderating on 6 July, which is concerned with art, investment and strategy.

3 min read

Karolina Bertorp is the founder and director of Moderna Samlare (Modern Collectors), an agency providing guidance and assistance to art collectors and managing art rentals for companies, as well as organising lectures on art and the art market. Clients include The American Embassy, Hufvudstaden, Mannheimer Swartling, Oscar Propertierices, and Vinge Law Firm.

Who are the participants in the panel discussion Passion, Money or Vanity – What influences a company’s arts investments?

I have invited two politicians, who both have special responsibilities within cultural affairs: Olof Lavesson representing Moderaterna and Niclas Malmberg from Miljöpartiet. Also participating is the artist Matthias van Arkel, who has worked on numerous large scale public commissions, both in Sweden and the US. Another figure is Magdalena Malm, the Director of Public Art Agency Sweden, a nationwide organisation developing the interaction between contemporary art and the public space. Curator and critic Sune Nordgren will also be joining us. He currently oversees the art purchases for an hotel chain run by the Norwegian Buissnes Magnate Petter Stordalen. We are also pleased to have on board Tom Böttiger, an IT entrepreneur and passionate art collector has successfully installed his collection at his company’s offices in Stockholm.  And finally Elisabeth Vansvik, Head of Communications at Wallenstam, a real estate concern often employing artists to decorate new developments.   

All in all, a good mix of people from many different aspects of the industry. Right at the moment I am working on the logistics of the talk, making sure that everyone isn’t on stage at the same time.

What are the main subjects that you want to explore?

Public and private collections are generally managed differently, so can we learn something from each other? We’ll discuss the benefits and disadvantages of art rentals, and art purchases, and also explore the importance of documentation and maintenance. I am interested in initiating a discussion around the value of art, financial and otherwise, for both clients and employees.

What sort of people will be interested in this event?

This is an event for anyone with a professional interest in art, particularly if they are intrigued by the business side of things. Real estate developers, for example, might find this interesting. I also hope that artists working with public commissions will benefit from this discussion.

Are there any resources you can recommend for someone interested in this field?

The hospital New Karolinska Solna has a website which gives a good picture of how art can be integrated within a major development project. In terms of cultural policy objectives, the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis is assigned by the Government to evaluate, analyse and present the effects of proposals and measures taken in the cultural field. Their publications are available for free online.