At Home With Mr & Mrs Zorn in Mora

Zorn’s House, Zorngården, Mora, Sweden

Behind the yellow-painted timber walls of this modestly sized house, lies the delightful home of Anders Zorn and his wife Emma, right by the Mora Church.  Unfortunately you aren’t allowed to take pictures inside, nor are you really allowed to linger, because you have to take guided tours.  This isn’t an ideal combination for me, but considering the limitations I enjoyed the visit.  The guide was considerate enough to let the group go through at a decent pace.

But I wish we could have wandered about alone.  This isn’t just so you can have a few moments to enter into the spirit of the environment and try and catch a glimpse of the old ghosts, though that is always a pleasure.  It’s also to simply take in the details of the house.  The property has basically been left as it was when Emma Zorn died in 1942, so it’s interesting to see the household conveniences available to a wealthy home of the period.  It’s also nice to see the use of traditional Dalarna style, as well objects designed by Zorn – like the dining room chairs.

The other reason it would have been nice to linger is because there were some interesting paintings on the walls.  Zorn had the money to collect decent works, both from Sweden and from further afield, and from what we could see, he had good taste: the paintings fit into the general design scheme without looking ostentatious or out of place.  The mix of antiques and modern luxuries created a cosy, but distinguished feeling house, that probably wouldn’t have been too intimidating to visit if you were a local from Mora, but which wasn’t too understated for Zorn’s more affluent guests – like the painter Prince Eugen.

Describing the house is difficult.  The study, with its interesting objets d’art and luxurious atmosphere, was a particularly impressive space, but it was touching to see small details of domestic life in the modest bedrooms and fun to examine the modern kitchen.

The gardens are probably lovely on a sunny day.  The striking bronze figure in the centre of the fountain is by Zorn, and I’m sure she looks more impressive when she’s not being rained on too.  Next to the house is Zorn’s studio that dates from 1290.  Here you can only peek through the windows to get an idea of how the artist worked.

So In Summary

Getting to see Zorn’s house was really wonderful.  It was a beautiful home, and made an interesting contrast to his friend Carl Larsson’s home at Sundborn.  The house, comparatively, was grand and filled with obviously expensive objects, but it was still super cosy and warm and certainly not the kind of house you would expect a wealthy artist and his wife to be satisfied with.  The idea that the man who lived here painted the portraits of three American presidents and vast numbers of the wealthy and aristocratic folk at the turn of the century, is incredible.  I left with a feeling of greater respect for Zorn, not just because he has good taste, but because of his evident sense of love and loyalty to his teeny home town in the middle of Sweden.

Further Information

The house is linked to the museum next door, which showcases the paintings of Zorn in a series of exhibitions.  When I visited, it was on the works of Zorn and his friend Carl Larsson, and was very well done.

A neat website for the Zorn Museum and House gives you all the information you might need in planning your visit: www.zorn.se

You have to get tickets for the group tours from the museum’s shop.  They do have tours in English, but not as many as in Swedish, so be sure to check the times on the website before going.

How To Get There

For information, please click through to my post on the Zorn Museum.

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