Lea Ahlborn

Lea Ahlborn

Lea Ahlborn, née Lundgren, (1826-1897) was a famous Swedish artist. She was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, and the first woman to be appointed royal printmaker. The position of royal printmaker was public office, and thereby also made her the first female official in Sweden.


As the child the printmaker Ludvig Lundgren, she early decided to follow him in his profession. In 1849, she, as well as Amalia Lindegren and Agnes Börjesson, became one of the four women who were given permission to study art at the Swedish Royal Academy of Arts. In 1851, she made a study-trip to Paris with her teacher Carl Gustaf Qvarnström and her brother Pehr Henrik, were she worked with the sculptor Toussaint, the printmaker Barre and her maternal uncle, the medal designer Johan Salmson.

In 1853, she returned to Sweden; the same yer, her father died, and she functioned as royal printmaker until the return of her brother, who was decided to take over their fathers position, but her brother died in Paris. In 1855, she was appointed royal printmaker and elected as a member in the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. She kept herself updated in everything regarding her work, and was given assignments from the Swedish Academy, the science academy and the royal academy Pro Patriaa and Empress Eugenie of France. She made the medal-portraits to the celebration of the anniversary of the wedding of the king and queen, and she was hired by the US government to make the medal of George Washington at the centenary (hundred years anniversary) of the end of the war of independence in 1883, and to the celebration of Christopher Columbus' discovery of America in 1892. In 1892, she was given the medal "Illis Quorum" by the king.

Her sister, Carolina Weidenhayn, (1822-1902), became the first professional female xylographer, who after studies in Paris 1858-1867, became an instructor at the technical school Tekniska Skolan in 1859-1881. Lea Ahlborn married the artist Carl Ahlborn and had several children.

See also

* Anna Maria Thelott
* Ulrika Pasch
* Maria Rohl


* Carin Österberg, "Svenska kvinnor", (In Swedish).

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