Local | Barbro Osher this year’s honorary portraits

By on May 20, 2016

Saturday, May 28 unveiled the 2016 honorary portraits at Gripsholm Castle. This year represents the Professor Barbro Osher, Consul General of Sweden in San Francisco and generous donor. The portrait is made of Thron Ullberg as in a congenial way captures both the model’s modest appearance and her activities as a patron.

Barbro Osher was born in Stockholm in 1940, but has long been a resident of San Francisco, where she is the Swedish Honorary Consul General. Together with her husband Bernard Osher she is one of the most generous donors in the United States. For several decades, she is also one of the principal patron of the arts in Sweden through her foundation Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, whose main focus has been related Swedish culture and education. She has actively supported several cultural institutions such as the Royal Opera, the Jewish Museum, the National Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to providing support to a variety of cultural expressions in Sweden, Barbro Osher through her foundation also contributed to several important Swedish-American projects.

Barbro Osher herself has told of bestowal joy in her own family. The uncle called Bengt Julin, known collector of decorative arts and contemporary design, that through his foundation long after death continued to help young artisans and the National Museum with important acquisitions. Barbro Osher grandfather Richard Julin started as a postman in Stockholms Enskilda Bank, but ended up as director and director of the same bank. He lived by the same motto as herself – “if one is provided, then they shall provide other”.
Barbro Osher in particular have a large, passionate interest in art and design. Without her support it would not have been possible to save 1900s heritage of our country. In the US donations to cultural is nothing unusual, least of people with business related. In Sweden, however, there are few comparisons to her great commitment. The Swedish debate has often been about tax deductions and gift taxes, but Barbro Osher herself has shown that the driving force rather than a matter of great personal cultural saturation needs since her teens. Culture has to Barbro Osher, therefore, a deeper existential meaning; it opens a world beyond the mundane.
Thron Ullberg (born 1969) is one of Sweden’s leading portrait photographers. He began studying art history, but soon focused on photography. Ullberg has testified about his love for the old photographic craft, and often work with large format camera and traditional negatives, he chooses to process digitally. He belongs to a generation of photographers who draws inspiration from both advertising and fashion photo, film and video. This contributes to the theatrical nature. The portraits are deliberately staged. Sometimes he puts his models on something that lifts them off the ground, sometimes he drapes them in a way that gives special pictorial associations. In Ullbergs portraits are both examples of intimacy and distance, the close to skin and the official.
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