Erik Gunnar Asplund: the father

By Nicholas Olsberg

Erik Gunnar Asplund (1885–1940), Stennäs (Asplund Summer House), Sarunda, Sweden, 1937. Pencil on tracing paper mounted on board, 229 × 376 mm. DMC 1251.

Erik Gunnar Asplund’s son Ingemar told me that their father would pick him and his brother Hans up on Sundays to take them to the summer house. (He was then living with a woman other than their mother.) Father would make a little conversation as they made their way to the jetty; hand over the oars of the boat to the boys to row to the house, stay there a little while, and then get back in the boat for the boys to row back. ​From the moment he and Hans first got on the dinghy until the moment they got out of it at the end of the day, his father’s head, hands, and attention never turned away from his sketchbook. ‘I can remember nothing about my father,’ he told me, ‘except him drawing.’