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Have you seen Hilma af Klint’s dove?

It has been more than 50 years since anyone has seen Hilma af Klint’s work Dove 10, HaK 182. The 150 x 115 cm painting, part of her most noted and valuable series, was last sighted at the Department of Theology at Uppsala University on February 16, 1969, when the work was the subject of a doctoral thesis.

In 1966, the founder of the Hilma af Klint Foundation, vice-admiral Erik af Klint (1901–1981), and Professor Carl-Martins Edsman (1911-2010) assigned the then 23-year-old doctoral candidate Ragnar Alcén (born 1943) at the Department of Theology at Uppsala University the task of writing a thesis on the works of Hilma af Klint. Alcén began his work in the autumn of 1967. To facilitate his research, Hilma af Klint’s paintings and notebooks were transported to Uppsala. However, in 1975 Ragnar Alcén decided not to finish his research and instead became a minister before immigrating to the US.

Afterwards, the paintings and drawings left Uppsala and were transported to Järna, the Swedish home of anthroposophy, where the Hilma af Klint Foundation was established in 1972. The art historian Åke Fant (1943–1997), given the task of starting up research again in 1977, made an inventory of the works together with Erik af Klint in Järna in 1979. In conjunction with this, it was noted that notebooks and a large number of paintings were missing. The notebooks were soon found again, on a bookshelf at the university where they had been forgotten, and the paintings were also found again in the attic of the Department of Theology at Uppsala University – all except Dove 10, HaK 182. So at some point between 1969, when Dove 10 was last seen in Uppsala, and 1979, when the inventory was taken, it must have disappeared.

The publisher Bokförlaget Stolpe is now producing Hilma af Klint’s Catalogue Raisonné, which is a comprehensive listing of her works. If you have any information about the missing Dove, we would be very grateful if you contact us.

We will also document the landscapes, portraits and other subjects of Hilma af Klint’s works in private ownership, and we are carrying out extensive work to look for, photograph and reproduce them. So please let us know if you have a Hilma af Klint. You can reach us by email at: hilma.af.klint@stolpepublishing.se

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