So this is it, another exhibition coming your way from our house. Our theme this time is how the movies was made, and of course we mean the Mamma Mia –movies. Absolutely fascinating how the whole lay-up comes as soon as we start talking about it. You all know that the theme in the ABBA-museum is all about what happened behind the stage, behind the camera, in the studio and in the dressing-room. All the places were most people haven’t been. They have seen the official ABBA but never how it was at a daily basis. So of course I thought that this is what we should talk about in the new exhibition. How, what, when and why the two movies came about. Here we will show film clips from behind the scenes, props, sketches, drawings and of course costumes together with comments from the designer, set designer etc. We have a great cooperation with Universal Pictures US and Littlestar Ltd in London and Judy Craymer, who is the global producer of Mamma Mia!. They all support me with material, comments, facts and figures which of course makes all the difference.
Another person that makes all the difference for me is my “wing-woman”, Anna Söderberg the set designer, together with me. I think I presented Anna before as one of these extremely talented persons who makes everything happen, in the best way possible.
So exiting to start working with this and I must say… I´m quite sure I have the best job ever…
One of my duty’s here at ABBA The Museum is to come up with new interactives or other installations to renew or just to add something to the story. I can tell you one thing, lack of ideas is not my problem 🙂
The process is, I wake up around 5am with an idea in my head, I reach for pen and paper and write the idea down. Then I fall asleep again. This works really well. The tricky part is when I wake up because I have a problem that I can’t solve, then I have to be awake until I have solved it…I often do that fairly quickly and then I fall asleep again.
Enough of my sleeping habits, a new interaction is born in the museum. Well not really new but upgraded. For those of you who knows of our interactives we have a little booth where you can try ABBA costumes virtually. This has now been with our interactive partner Spree for a thorough upgrade. We call it “The Photo Session”. ABBA is one of the most photographed groups in the world and now you get to try how it is to stand there in the photo studio, posing and acting with different outfits and now you can do it as a group of four!
We have now tried it and its really fun. All the body movements work really well and of course you can still download the photos but now the quality is way way better and we hope it’s going to be appreciated by all of you.
Next to be up graded is the helicopter to VR, this will be amazing. More about that later.
All the best,
So, my dear friends, this summer has been nice and hot. Good for those who doesn’t have a farm or woods or big plantations etc. The amount of fires here has been crazy. We are not used to this heat in Sweden, but many has also enjoyed it. At the museum it has been really good, so many visitors that saw a chance to dive into the story of ABBA as well as enjoying a cool museum, cool in many ways…
The new exhibition is doing so well, we have had so many positive remarks, yet none negative. But as I wrote earlier, it’s the hard-core fans that will come back with corrections later on, and yes that’s what has happened. I’m so grateful for that. Corrections about quiz-questions, years, mis-spellings etc. I think we have the best proof readers, and so many!
Now we are working hard with donations and purchases of ABBA-memorabilia. Our new member of the museum staff Mimmi Fagerlind is point man(woman) in that work as well as a lot of other tasks as the museums project assistant. Welcome Mimmi!
Last year Benny asked me if the museum were interested in a picture he saw in a gallery-window. It’s a print from the humour magazine MAD. This picture shown here was to celebrate ABBAs 10 years. Good suggestion from Benny, it’s so funny and a good addition to our collection in the museum.
Ok here’s a question for all of you. I was thinking about a temporary exhibition with all of the fan gifts to ABBA. Everything from oil paintings to knitted baby sweaters. What do you think? You can always respond by leaving a comment on our Instagram or Facebook-page.
All for now, stay well and take care.
Finally it’s here! The movie we all (well maybe not all of us…) have been waiting for.
A sequel has never been an easy task. Many has failed during the years and some has succeeded.
A big bunch of us from the museum teamed up to go and see it on the exclusive VIP premiere last week in Stockholm and it was an happy evening. The day started with me going to the Grand Hotel where the film company Universal Pictures had arranged a press conference. The museum have a nice Les Paul guitar with many awesome autographs on it, for example Axl Rose, Al Pacino, Jennifer Aniston and now we hoped for Björn, Benny, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård and more from the cast. And yes, we got the guitar signed and later on we will have a charity auction on our website with this guitar. Stay tuned!
Björn and Benny, as always very courageous when they meet the world media. Answering questions in a good mood like if it was the first time.
I just got off the phone with ABBAs spokesperson Görel Hanser who told me about the opening in London, the same brave guys met hundreds of journalists and TV-media and a bit later they took off to Hammersmith Apollo for the opening together with 3000 guests. A happy evening for all involved, from Cher to Meryl Streep and rest of the cast.
A third viewing of the movie was done in Björns hometown Västervik yesterday. The location was the beautiful ruin where Europe’s second oldest music festival is held every year in June. It was a perfect evening! Warm and lovely with the sea close by and the sunset. A recommendation from me.. visit the festival next year. Its magic!
I know that Björn and Benny wasn’t quite so positive to a sequel of the first MAMMA MIA! The Movie, they might have changed their minds now, people loved it and I guess that everyone who enjoyed the first one will also see this.
Hope you also will enjoy the film, but most of all of course, the songs!
All the best,
Welcome back and thanks for staying with me and my Curators Corner. One day we might even be able to interact on this site. Would be great to hear your views on things and be able to ask questions etc.
If you remember I started earlier to talk about key persons in specific projects like our exhibitions here at ABBA The Museum.
I already introduced our lighting designer, set designer and assisting set designer.
Now its time to talk about our former Project Manager (now Museum Director) Caroline Fagerlind. For those of you who knows, she started working with us back in 2010 fresh out of a Business Management School. She asked me if she could do her 5 weeks of practise that’s included in the course. She came on board and she made herself totally irreplaceable from week two. As our assistant, working with the exhibition going to London and Earls Court, she was the best partner ever for me. So when it was time for building ABBA The Museum at Djurgården, where we are now, she had all the knowledge for taking on the role as Project Manager.
Caroline was my perfect assist when we travelled to Frida in her house in Skåne to do the unique interviews for the museum. She were also with me when we made the interviews with Björn, Benny and Agnetha.
Caroline has a positive approach on absolutely everything and the “we can solve that”- attack on every problem. But foremost, the capacity of having all the balls in the air and taking them down when needed. This is what, at least I need from a perfect Project Manager.
Now she has moved on to the role as Museum Director at ABBA The Museum, but that’s another story or should we say close to a fairy tale 🙂
Next Curators Corner will go totally digital. I will tell you all about the guys and girls who develops the interactive parts in our exhibitions.
Until then, step in to comfy shoes and go explore exhibitions!
Our latest and permanent exhibition is up and running. People seems to enjoy it and they are singing, dancing and using all the interactive parts that we offer.
For me, work continues after the grand opening of an exhibition. It’s called finetuning… What works and what doesn’t? What need to be changed or maybe even taken away?. Do we need more tutorials for the interactives or is it too easy?
How do you know what to do? You have to go on your gut-feeling combined with expertise in the field. But in the end, it’s the visitors who tells you all the answers you need.
The trick in the book is that you walk around in “your” exhibition for at least one hour, look like you are just another visitor, listen to what people say, and do, occasionally you can ask a question or even better, say that you are the curator and that you want the visitor’s opinion on certain things. I promise, you will get all the info you need.
You dear visitor are our experts and we appreciate your comments on Facebook, Instagram or TripAdvisor. So please don’t forget to leave a review after your visit!
Next curators corner will be written from the aft deck of the sailing boat, see you then!
Have a great summer all!
We passed the finish line with the opening of our new exhibition on May 8th. Our hard work payed off so well. So wonderful to see our guests enjoying themselves, reading, listening, dancing and doing all interactives. It’s truly rewarding and absolutely the reason why at least I do this kind of things.
But as you know, “no man (woman) is an island…”, you always need a skilled team to work with. I’ve been presenting the team members and time has now come to Mr Bengt Fröderberg – the Grandmaster of Set Design.
We have done four exhibitions together and we are now starting on number five. We have a special way to work together; I have ideas about what, why and how. He comes up with construction and design. This is the easy way of explaining it but then you have all these small talks, brainstorming – where one idea gives another. A very organic way to work. Not always easy when it comes to creative minds…sometimes it burns and sometimes its mad laughters. But the result is always grand. Bengt works a lot with film and theatres and he is currently working with the set design for Mamma Mia! The Party coming up in London.
The same weekend as the opening we also had The International ABBA Day (Fan Weekend) here at the museum. A great success! Fans were happy and they really liked the sneak peak they had in the new exhibition. I got a lot of great feedback regarding bits and pieces. An exhibition will never be completely finished. You can always tweak, change and improve everything according to the feedback we get.
The gala-opening was a blast, we had a line-up of artists that was spectacular. Parts of Benny Andersson Orchestra including maestro himself at accordion was playing, Helen Sjöholm and Sofia Pekkari was singing, Nanne and Peter Grönwall played and sang with their sons. The fantastic singer Philip Jalmelid sang a song from Chess. For the finale we saw Donna and the Dynamos from Mamma Mia the musical. Oh what a night! Humble and tired I went to bed extremely late and so happy.
I also want to give a big thank you to museum director Caroline Fagerlind for such brilliant hard work, the whole staff at marketing and the creative team. Everyone at Pop House for making the weekend such a success.
Do you want to know more about our new exhibition? Click here
As you all might have seen in the last curators corner, I started presenting the museums line-up for building exhibitions together with me. Next in line is a guy I got to work with back in the mid 1970 at the Swedish Riksteatern. We toured a lot together and became good friends and still are. Gunnar Björs is a brilliant lighting designer in his low-key way to work. When you build an exhibition, or designing a stage set etc, the magic thing happens when the lighting designers do their thing. The lighting work comes in quite late in the process to be able to properly see what’s going to be lit, how and why. Every time this happens I´m like a child on Christmas eve. Suddenly everything comes to life and you see it all like it should be seen.
One more feature working with Gunnar is something quite unusual. Besides the lighting work he always, in his low-key way, comes up with improvements, small ideas with big effects or just helping me to rethink something that has gone in the wrong direction. A situation that everyone ends up in sooner or later when working with something creative like this. And I am so grateful for these inputs. Basically, I believe everyone should have a Gunnar.
The Grandmaster of Set design is next to be presented.
All the best,
Coming down every day to the exhibition-site in the museum is so exiting. Every day the team has built, constructed or painted something new and I am so happy to have the honour of working with these skilled people.
Whatever you do you need the craftsmen and women that makes it all happen. People making your costume, a designer that does your light, the set designer making it look as it should, sound design to make you sound good. Someone to make a wig or your hair and make-up, props, gaffers, grips, production managers, carpenters and so on. It’s all a joint venture. Next time you see an exhibition, theatre, musical, movie or concert please check the program or end credits and you’ll see all the different professions that have contributed to the result. I have just mentioned a few here but I think you know what I mean. So, in my Curators Corner going forward I will mention some of the people I work with and tell you a bit about what they do, because I can assure you that all the credit I get from doing exhibitions is definitely to be shared with these people.
Today I met up with my “wing woman” Anna Söderberg in the building site to look at some issues to be decided. This is our fourth exhibition together and I just love to work with her. Anna is responsible for the set design on site on a daily basis. She works close together with Bengt Fröderberg who is the set designer. She is there all the time and sees things and in a low-key way she suggests different solutions, she is a great listener and always a smiling face. To have someone that you are absolutely safe with is a blessing in this shaky world of entertainment. Now we are getting closer to the phase we are both longing for… when we can start filling the exhibition with the “meat on the bones”. Movie clips, props, original items, photos, textiles costumes etc. It’s so fun and especially when you think so much alike as we do. Rewarding is what it is 🙂
I have written about this in my book, ABBA The Backstage Stories, as well. Thinking about these guys and girls I was working with back in the days when I was fairly new to all this. So much I learned just by seeing and listening to them, on tour or at the film set or the theatre stage. I have a little fear that this way of working is disappearing slowly but surely. It feels like young people should have the experience of a 40-year-old, but they are in fact 25. Walk alongside with the skilled people that can pass along experiences and tricks of the trade is the best way to learn after leaving the vocational training school.
I hope you enjoyed this little piece of my everyday life and that you will come back next time.
All the best,
For those of you who didn’t join us for the opening of Guitars Of The Stars, I can tell you it went really well. As you all know, there are no guarantees of the outcome of any creative work. You can only do what feels good for yourself and hope that others will enjoy it to. And of course, as always, do the absolute best you can.
Claes “Clabbe” af Geijerstam is the owner of the 50 guitars on display in the exhibition but also guest curator of the exhibition Guitars Of The Stars. He did such an amazing job and together with the rest of the team we can say that we are really proud of the exhibition.
We are now currently walking down the stairs every day to our new exhibition room, there is an elevator, but I still want to go down the stairs instead just to hear the sound of the guitar clips in the screens and see the beautiful handcrafted guitars. It’s a big inspiration everyday. I’m also still struggling with the few chords I have learned on my own lovely Fender Squire that I got as a gift from Guitars the Museum in Umeå.
As I wrote earlier, we are working hard on the new big permanent exhibition opening in May. I’m so thrilled with doing this since it has been a request from our visitors since we opened the museum back in -13.
My future plans as we speak is that after May I need to go in to our warehouse and totally dig myself down in to all the fan items we have got from so many of you during these 5 years. They need sorting and to get into our archive lists. Absolutely amazing with all the hearty collected items and it really triggers me to maybe start planning for a “Wall of Fans”-exhibition. Here we can show everything from big oil paintings of ABBA to knitted trousers for Agnethas baby boy or just all these amazing stories that originates from the music of ABBA. Let me know if you think it’s a good idea.
More good news is that there now is a ABBA The Museum Foundation. This way both the former members of ABBA, their friends, old colleagues and fans etc can donate their items to the foundation so that we sooner or later will own all our items to display in the museum.
Sad news is that Frida and Bennys hairdresser from the 1970thies Elisabeth Hofstedt recently passed away in a heart failure. I got to know Elisabeth when she came with us on tour 1979 in the US. Photos of her and her hairdressers stuff is in the museums display of the “Dressingroom”. RIP Elisabeth.
Finally, we would love you to help me and the museum to scan the market for more ABBA items. I know there are original costumes and other related stuff still out there and we would love to have it to place another piece of the puzzle about the life and work of ABBA and after 1982 as well.
All the best for now,