Hilma af Klint

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Hilma af Klint in her studio at Hamngatan 5, Stockholm, c1895. Photographer unknown.
Born October 26, 1862(1862-10-26)
Castle Karlberg, Solna, near Stockholm, Sweden
Died October 21, 1944(1944-10-21) (aged 81)
Djursholm, Sweden

Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were amongst the first abstract art.

She attended the Technical school [Tekniska Skolan] in Stockholm in 1880, and took classes in portrait painting taught by Kerstin Cardon. From 1882 to 1887 she studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts [Kungliga Akademien för de fria konsterna] in Stockholm and graduated with top grades. From the late 1880s on she worked in a studio of her own, which was provided to her and two other female artists by the art academy. In 1896 she and four friends founded a spiritualist all-female group called The Five or The Friday Group, and together they held séances. Around the turn of the century she was employed at a veterinary school, doing drawings. In 1908 she met Rudolf Steiner, who later founded anthroposophy. In 1920 she joined the Theosophical Society and traveled for the first time, to Dornach in Switzerland, where she met Steiner once again. Between 1921 and 1930 she spent increasingly longer periods of time in Dornach, engaged in an intensive study of anthroposophy, and attended Steiner’s lectures.




  • Hilma af Klint. A Pioneer of Abstraction, eds. Iris Müller-Westermann and Jo Widoff, Hatje Cantz, 2013. ISBN 978-3-7757-3489-9. [1]
  • The Legacy of Hilma af Klint: Nine Contemporary Responses, eds. & intro. Daniel Birnbaum and Ann-Sofi Noring, Stockholm: Moderna Museet, and London: Koenig Books, 2013, 113 pp. A complement to the Venice Biennale; with essays and images by Cecilia Edefalk, Karl Holmqvist, Eva Löfdahl, Helen Mirra, Rebecca Quaytman, Amy Sillman, Fredrik Söderberg, Sophie Tottie, and Christine Ödlund. [2] (English)