After running the Spritmuseum in Stockholm for 13 years, Ingrid Leffler is officially leaving her post as Museum Director. She has been a key player in hosting several famous and successful exhibitions. We chatted with Ingrid, who shared her most memorable moments in her career and her thoughts about Spritmuseums new exhibition, REDISCOVER Absolut Art Collection.
You’ve worked as Museum Director at Spritmuseum for more than a decade, and now you are leaving your post. How does it make you feel?
It feels good, and I think now is a really good time to hand over the baton. I am grateful and proud of all these years and the fantastic experiences Spritmuseum has given me. But now I am handing over the world’s most enjoyable job to another person, and it feels great. The best thing about being the Museum Director has been the privilege of meetings so many fantastic people and to be fortunate enough to be able to work with and alongside all the great artists, creators, partners, producers and colleagues that have been engaged in the museum and our exhibitions through the years.
What changes has Spritmuseum undergone during your tenure?
Quite a few, for sure. For me, one of the biggest changes was moving the entire museum to our current premises in Royal Djurgården, including establishing an art gallery for the Absolut Art Collection. In my 13 years, we have also increased the number of visitors from 10,000 up to 100,000 annually, which is amazing. Today, we are a museum that – in addition to showing Swedish drinking- and art history – conducts extensive program activities, serve exciting food, and holds events at our own restaurant. Another big change is within the industry itself. When I started as Museum Director at Spritmuseum, there were around 200 beverage producers in the country. Today there are closer to 900, which is a testament to the growth of the entire industry and something we are proud to display at Spritmuseum. We have also been a part of changing how we consume and talk about beverages in Sweden through our drink exhibitions, guest performances, range of drinks and tastings. We even founded a national championship in crafting cider where Swedish producers can compete and show off their best products.
Which exhibition do you remember the most?
I remember most of them quite well, but some have made a more significant impression than others. An unforgettable one is the art exhibition with the painter Frank Bowling, who received renaissance and international recognition through our presentation, which rendered him an extensive show at the famous Tate Modern in London. I also remember when we launched the exhibition Realities, featuring Dan Wolgers and the writer Lena Andersson, which was one of our most well-visited throughout my time. Also, the cultural history exhibition, The Swedish Sin, received fantastic reviews and was one of the most crowded ones, with visitors queuing a long time to get in.
The exhibition REDISCOVER Absolut Art Collection will be your last one. What can you tell us about it?
The whole idea behind the exhibition was to let a younger generation of art connoisseurs select their favorites from our archives. They were just kids when the Absolut Art Collection emerged in the 80s and 90s. The result of their selections is a room with 90 floor-to-ceiling artworks, pastel-colored walls, and disco music blaring through the speakers. All these younger people also work as museum educators and guides at Spritmuseum. I am incredibly impressed with how they have approached the task and managed to create one of Spritmuseums best thematic exhibitions ever. It is creative, playful, innovative – and very stylish.
Finally, what will you do now?
I have some assignments left to complete here at Spritmuseum before I leave my post on February 1st. Other than that, I don’t really have any plans. I will think about what I want to do in the future with my free time and, hopefully, find something meaningful and fulfilling to get excited about.