Gunnar Sundgren



Gunnar Sundgren grew up in a sibling group of nine children at a small railway station between Sala and Gävle. 

Sundgren joined H.A.L. (Cathedral School) in Uppsala in 1913 and was boarded up in a school household at Maria Lindgren's bakery on Skolgatan 13.

As a 21-year-old, Sundgren became a student of Ellen Claeson, the leading photographer in Uppsala. In 1928 he opened a portrait studio at Östra Ågatan 29 and became one of Uppsala's foremost photographers during the 1940s–1950s.

Gunnar Sundgren with the camera about 1969. Photo: Unknown photographer / UUB.

Gunnar Sundgren with the dog "Klumpen", standing on the Dombron in Uppsala sometime in the 1950s. Photo: Unknown photographer / UUB.

The portrait pictures were made after personality studies and Sundgren also produced significant environmental and architectural images.  In the studio several famous people passed through, such as Hugo Alfvén, Bror Hjort, Cora Sandel, Gösta Knutsson, Axel Hägerström, The Svedberg and Bo Setterlind.

Upplandsmuseet Manages approximately 300 000 negatives from Sundgren's production.  He appeared on radio as a strong agitator for photography as an art form.

During the 1950s, Gunnar Sundgren held tours of the old cemetery in Uppsala. At his grave there is a metal sculpture "Mother and Child" by an unknown artist.

Gunnar Sundgren's preserved photographs are a remarkable cultural and historical treasure.


Burial site: 0150-1988

Image description: Gunnar Sundgren, unknown year. Photo: Gunnar Sundgren / Upplandsmuseet. [The image is cropped]
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Alfred Dahlgren



Alfred Dahlgren learned photography in Germany and with photographer Dahllöf in Stockholm. In 1890 he established his own studio at Dragarbrunnsgatan 48 in Uppsala where he worked as a portrait photographer.

Uppsala City Council decided in 1901 that the city should be photodocumented and Dahlgren was commissioned to take the 350 pictures that would be delivered in two hardcover albums.

On weekdays he worked in the studio and early Sunday mornings, when the city was empty, he went out to take his pictures. After a year, the photographs were handed over to the city council.

The bridge in Uppsala, adorned in connection with the Linnaeus Jubilee 1907. Photo: Alfred Dahlgren / Uppsala University Library.

Sledding through King Jan's Gate at the castle in Uppsala, around 1890. Photo: Alfred Dahlgren / Uppsala University Library.

In 1908, he was instructed to complete the documentation with pictures of the city's outskirts and yards from Old Town yards. The same year, however, Alfred Dahlgren died and his last pictures came to be handed over by his widow.

A total of 540 glass negatives can be found in Upplandsmuseet's (Uppsala county museum) possession and the two albums of the photographs can be found at Uppsala City Library. The photographs are a remarkable treasure, both culturally and historically.


Burial site: 0125-1150B

Image description: Alfred Dahlgren ca 1900. Photo: UUB. [The image is cropped]
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Emma Schenson


Photographer, watercolour painter.

Emma Schenson was probably the first female photographer in Uppsala and one of the first women in Sweden to photograph professionally.

She was first trained as a watercolour painter, but worked from the 1860s in parallel with both painting and photography. During the childhood of photography it was unusual for women to photograph professionally, but after the regulation for freedom to pursue a trade from 1864, it became possible for women to establish themselves as entrepreneurs and photographers.

Schenson was active in Uppsala from 1860 onwards and had a permanent studio on Östra Ågatan 25. In the Photographic Association, which organized photographers, there were in 1888, three female members of a total of 65. These women were Anna Hwass, Wilhelmina Skogh and Emma Schenson.

During Schenson's productive years, the business card photograph as well as the larger cabinet photograph (format approx. 12 × 16.5 cm) became very popular in all social classes. There are very likely pictures in older Uppsala families performed by her.

The Block Domen, Fyristorg and Uppsala Cathedral, Fjärdingen, Uppsala before 1885. Photographer: Probably Emma Schensson, Uppsala / Upplandsmuseet.

"The Geezers of the Svartbäcken creek" in Kvarnfallet at Akademikvarnen, the quarter Holmen, Uppsala 1880–1890s. Photographer: Emma Schenson / Upplandsmuseet.

During the years 1885-1893, Emma Schenson documented the great restoration of Uppsala Cathedral. Through her images we can follow the restoration from start to finish.

There are currently no negatives preserved from Schenson's photographs, but some photos have been preserved and are available today in the map and picture collections at Uppsala University Library.

There is also an album that shows the cathedral's transformation during the time of the great restoration. Early on, the value of this photographic documentation was realized, which can be seen in an inscription in the Schensons album, which ends "alone in its kind and important for the future". The photographs that are preserved, are a remarkable cultural and historical treasure.


Burial site: 0101-0031

Image description: Emma Schenson, ca 1865-ca 1875. Photo: UUB. [The image is cropped]
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Henri Osti



Heinrich Osti, known as Henri, was born in Berlin and was the son of a band weaver from Italy.

Osti emigrated to Sweden at the age of 26 and in 1856 he began his photographic career in Stockholm. Three years later he opened a photo studio on Kungsgatan in Uppsala. The studio later moved to shoemaker Sven Anders Hägg's farm between Östra Ågatan and Gräsgränd (the park at present Bangårdsgatan) and eventually to Jervingska gården at Kungsgatan 55.

Heinrich Osti was for many years the city's leading photographer and won several prizes for his photographs and together with meteorologist Hugo Hildebrandsson he also photographed cloud formations for scientific purposes.

His collection of glass negatives with 16,000 images provides a broad record of the urban settlements of the time and the population of the city. The collection is a remarkable cultural-historical treasure that is preserved at Uppsala University Library.


Burial site: 0108-0450

Image description: Heinrich Osti, Uppsala 1860. Photo: Heinrich Osti / UUB. [The image is cropped]
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Thekla Knös


Poet, photographer.

After the father Gustav, who was vicar of Västeråker and Dalby, died in 1828, the mother Alida and her daughter Thekla moved to Uppsala. They settled in the house at the northern end of Östra Ågatan, which is now part of the Fjellstedtska school's premises.

Thekla Knös and her mother came to be known in Uppsala as "the little Knösarna" and participated diligently in the city's social and literary life. Thekla Knös gave language lessons and "The little Knösarna" also held a literary salon in the home with the participation of Geijer, Atterbom, Järta, Törneros and Wennerberg. Knös also made translations, which was an income for several 1900-century women from the upper middle class.

At Atterbom's invitation, Knös competed in the academy with the poem Cycle Ragnar Lodbrok and won the Swedish Academy's grand prize 1851. Several of her works were also tinted.

She also published photographs of the past Uppsala, the bookThe year, with the subheading Drawings from Childhood, as well as fairytale books and other books for children.

After her mother's death in 1855, Knös suffered deep sadness and what kept her up was her religiosity and friends. She was a resident of various friends and relatives and was also taken care of by Malla Silfverstolpe for a period. Her mental health deteriorated however, and Thekla Knös died after 16 years of stay at Växjö Hospital.

The following example of Knös' poetry is taken from the poem "Desire in the auditorium" from Poems, vol. 1-2, 1852–1853.

Ah, the glorious Hall now became.
Alas, it was hastily replaced
To the quiet, shady valley.
Where happy hours have fled!
O! Would be soft the diva
My dear, mossy stone!
And the carpet-floral plan,
and the lamp-the glow of the evening sun!

Ah, would be the whispering Tern
A slim and shimmering birch;
Be bowing Lord-how willingly!-
A spruce that whispered dark!
The music-the chirping of birds
And the Buzz- the flood's song!-
But – in the saloon I sit,
And the time is long for me.


Burial site: 0112-0591

Image description: Thekla Knös, unknown year. Photo: Swedish Biographical dictionary / National Archives. [The image is cropped]
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