Unlike most major national art museums, the Göteborg Museum of Art – described as the leading museum of Nordic art – is not indebted to former royal or aristocratic art collections for its origins.
It is the people of Gothenburg themselves who have created this museum, by their generosity - creative, or financial! Although the main emphasis in the collections has always been on Swedish art, the art of the Nordic countries as a whole has also played an important part, and the museum covers numerous eras and movements, including the French impressionists and Surrealism.
The earliest works on show date back to the 15th century, and one of the oldest is Ludovico Brea's 'Throning Madonna'.
Modern art, however, is not underrepresented, and some of the most visited pieces are Andy Warhol's 'Marilyn Monroe', Allen Jones's 'Bare Me' and the works of Edvard Munch. The museum's collection of graphic arts encompasses some 50 000 graphic works and 8000 drawings, and there is a fine collection of British post-war art, including works by Henry Moore and Francis Bacon.
In the Sculpture Hall - itself a fine example of 1920s classicism - the emphasis is mainly on Nordic sculpture from 1920 onwards.
A highlight is the lavishly decorated Fürstenberg Gallery, named after a leading Gothenburg art donor, Pontus Fürstenberg and his wife Göthilda.
The museum building was created for the international exhibition in Gothenburg 1923 by architect Sigfrid Ericson, celebrating the city's 300th anniversary, and represents the monumental Neo-Classical style in Nordic architecture. It is built of a yellow brick called ”Gothenburg brick” because of the material's frequent use in the city.