Erna Hasselblad, Philippe Halsman © Halsman ArchiveErna © Maria Friberg, 2014

Erna Hasselblad (1914–1983)
100-Year Anniversary

This year Erna Hasselblad would have turned 100. The Hasselblad Foundation is marking the jubilee of one of our founders with an exhibition in memory of Erna and her importance to Victor Hasselblad AB and the Foundation. The exhibition presents a selection of Erna and Victor Hasselblad’s photographs, many of which have never been shown publically before.

None of the texts that have been published about Victor Hasselblad and the history of the Hasselblad camera contain more than fragmentary descriptions of Erna. However, a closer look at the material in the foundation’s historical archive seems to indicate that Erna and Victor were an inseparable couple. Together they built up a network of both personal and professional contacts that spanned the world. The many photographs show Erna’s participation in decisive moments of the company’s development. Without her contribution the company would probably not have achieved the same enormous success. This exhibition aims to further highlight Erna’s role in the history of the company and the camera. One year after Victor Hasselblad’s death in 1979, the Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation was formed. Erna was part of the foundation’s board of directors until her passing in 1983.

In connection with the jubilee the Hasselblad Foundation has commissioned artist Maria Friberg to create a new work in memory of Erna Hasselblad. Inspired by the iconic photographs of footprints on the moon, Maria Friberg has photographed the impressions made by high-heeled shoes in the black lava sand of Iceland, drawing attention to the fact that so far no woman has been to the moon. The work is now part of the Hasselblad Foundation collection.

Erna Hasselblad’s unique Apollo bracelet with its golden pendants and medallions, each of which has been on one of the eleven manned Apollo expeditions between 1968 and 1972, is also shown publically for the first time. To commemorate the 100-year jubilee, one of the pendants has been reproduced as a limited edition silver pendant. The pendant depicts an astronaut with a Hasselblad camera.  

Curators:

Elsa Modin, Dragana Vujanovic, Louise Wolthers