Conjuring up the artist from the archives

How can our understanding of an artist be deepened and developed through digital materials and methods? How can we develop tools for a better understanding of previous practices in conjuring up, modifying and curating artists and works of art in museum exhibitions, publications and studies? What ideological and practical considerations and presuppositions have governed the presentations that have formed the artist for the public consideration?

These are questions we investigate through a three-year project about Ivar Arosenius (1878-1909), a Swedish artist and writer. His main body of work was produced during the last few years that led up to his untimely death in early 1909, only 30 years of age and within months of his big breakthrough. During the subsequent years and decades, his substantial production earned him recognition posthumously both nationally and internationally, and today he is one of the most renowned Swedish artists.

At the core of the project is the development of a digital archive that collects the digitized material from several sources, both public and private, into a central repository, allowing scholars and the public to view, filter, and combine the entirety in new ways, and, through public APIs that we make available, explore, activate and make use of this rich material on various platforms. In addition to this, the project has also instigated a number of studies of what knowledge and aspects can be added through different technological developments, as well as what knowledge and values are lost or threatened in a digitization process.

The project is funded by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. It involves a number of departments and divisions at University of Gothenburg as well as the National Museum, Stockholm, and the Museum of Art, Gothenburg.


Leadership and coordination

Mats Malm, Dept. of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion

Cecilia Lindhé, Centre for Digital Humanities



Jonathan Westin, Department of Conservation

Dick Claésson, The Swedish Literature Bank

Trausti Dagsson, Centre for Digital Humanities

Alexandra Herlitz, Dept. of Cultural Sciences

Karin Wagner, Dept. of Cultural Sciences

Sara Ljungblad, Dept. for Applied Information Technology


Visit the Arosenius Archive