Just next door to ours is Villa Akleja. An absolutely wonderful house that was built in 1901 by J.A.G. Acke – at that time one of Sweden’s 10 leading artists, and good friend and colleague with Bruno Liljefors, Anders Zorn and Prince Eugen. Around the turn of the century, the house was the center of the Swedish artist elite, and I can only dream of the discussions and the parties that have taken place there!
Since about a year now the art collector and Acke connoisseur Claes Moser lives in Villa Akleja with his family. Claes has collected Ackes works since the 1960’s, and with him a large part of Ackes art once again found their way home to Akleja, where many of them were created once.
For more people to be able take part of the cultural heritage the Mosers have also opened up the house for guided tours. It’s like an “at-home museum” where pre-booked groups can come to enjoy the villa’s beautiful architecture, Ackes works and hear Claes tell more about life in Villa Akleja and Swedish turn of the century art.
Yesterday there was one such group, and because Sanna (Claes’s wife) was busy elsewhere, I was there and helped. Made sure the guests were given coffee and sandwich, took care of the dishes … Nothing fancy, but still very nice. Today also participated the mezzosopran and violinist Linnea Sallay in the program and framed Claes lecture with the beautiful Swedish folk songs and classical pieces from the early 1900s.
I had just returned home and sat in the sun on the steps to the porch with a cup of coffee when she began to sing. The beautiful tones were swept by the wind down to us and I could not help but feel very fortunate. I hope that they will sing opera at Villa Columbines many times… and soon again.
If you are curious about Villa Akleja I can tell that they will have an “open tour” on Saturday, June 11. at 11am and 15pm, when you thus do not need to be a larger group to book but can come alone or with just a friend or two or three. Price 200 SEK per person incl. lecture and light refreshments. Reservations are made directly to Sanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.