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Rune Jernström

– the story of a passionate art collector

Lots to be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale: Modern & Contemporary 19-20 May 2021

Möja, an island in the Swedish archipelago, was the party of a lifetime in the 1980s. The ocean was full of fish and every year, Rune Jernström prepared a wonderful fish soup. Unfortunately, Möja’s grocery store left a lot to be desired. Therefore, Rune’s dinner was always preceded by a traditional boat trip to Vaxholm for the purchase of the necessary saffron. It was during one of these excursions that I became aware of the power of Rune’s role as a collector of art. On our way home from Vaxholm, where in the name of honesty we both ate and drank well, Rune suddenly aimed at an old, twisted tree trunk on an island. This particular island belonged to the Swedish Armed Forces and we were therefore banned from disembarking. This did not prove to be a problem for Jernström – the tree trunk should be promptly salvaged! Thus we disembarked on forbidden land and pulled down the dead tree remains to the boat, where it was tied up and moved on a trailer. Several hours later, we returned to Möja in good mood. The catch was quickly named ”Great Lake Beast” and had become an obvious part of ”Jernström’s archipelago collection”.

Rune worked as a printer. For decades he ran Jernström Offset, the quality printing company with a preference for the entire advertising world. His early years in the printing industry inspired him to start collecting, and he found an instant passion for art. The testimonies are many.

Among the first things you encountered when you stepped into Rune’s home was a wall full of etchings by Swedish master Anders Zorn. Rune had acquired the works gradually, one by one, over a long series of years. At the same time, he nurtured a burning interest in modern art, which also left its mark on his growing collection. Rune was given the honour of printing posters and catalogues among other things for some of Sweden’s foremost artists at the time. He had personal relations with the entire art elite. Some of his close friends included Peter Dahl, Philip von Schantz, KG Nilsson, Olle Bonniér, Bengt Landin and many more. Sometimes, the artists signed and numbered works for Rune to give as Christmas presents, which Rune’s friends and business acquaintances had the pleasure of opening.

Rune was also a collector in the field of music. He had a large collection of records, which played jazz from the first half of the 20th century. He did not share the same appreciation for modern and contemporary music, with a few exceptions. These included Ella Fitzgerald and her legendary live recording, “Ella in Berlin”, and the top record “How high the moon”. It still rings in my ears, when I remember all the parties at Rune’s, which always ended with such lovely tones.

At the funeral in Hedvig Eleonora’s church in Stockholm, Louis Armstrong’s masterful recording of “West end blues” was heard probably for the first time in this church room. It felt like a consistent end to the long life of a true art collector, forever marked by a passionate and unfailing interest in art – and the arts.

– Adman Lars A Boisen, 28 April 2021

Uppsala Auktionskammare is pleased to offer works from Rune Jernström’s prominent collection of modern art. Original works and prints by artists such as Victor Vasarely, Henri Michaux, Jonathan Lasker, Mimmo Paladino, Henri Matisse, Olle Bærtling, Willem de Kooning, Christo and Pablo Picasso are included in this sale.

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Jeanna Ahlin


Modern och samtida konst
Tel: 0734-32 41 45

Sofie Bexhed


Tel: 0705-22 61 62

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