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Salon 1999

Norrköping, Sweden

9-11 April 1999

Hosted by Mats Carlsson & Lotta Olsson, Palmgruppen

The Salon this year was held in Sweden, from 9 'till 11 April 1999.The event took place in the town of Norrköping. It was organized by Palmgruppen and  sponsored by the Swedish Federation of Painting Contractors. 


Palmgruppen is a group of Swedish decorative painters who work commercially as well as teach. These decorative painters are all educated and taught by Mister Stellan Palm, a grandmaster who has been active over 60 years.


The Salon was held in the Ebersteinska School (House-painter school). The gigantic gymnasium was used for the public exhibition space where over 4200 guests viewed completed works from many different nations.  The gymnasium was decorated with the national flags from the various participating countries. 

Banners' were put up together with the various international colors. This Salon was an exciting event for the town of Norrköping.  The town council also sponsored the organization. The number of participating countries increased.  For the first time Germany and Finnish were present. The British, French and American leagues attended in bigger numbers compared to previous years.  The diversity of the exhibited works showed the highest level of quality. It appeared that there were less wood and marble imitations and more trompe l'oeil incorporating these techniques. Also present were more unique and never seen before painted objects.

Anders Göransson from Sweden works for a theatre decorating  studio. His exhibition piece was an astounding set of aged doors which he manufactures from new soft pine, distresses them and goes over them with non-adhesive paints to obtain realistic patinas and crackle effects. The result is fabulous: real three-dimensional doors as if hundreds of years old. 


The French and British were present with a very stable and high professional amount of painted woods, marbles and ornaments. The Frenchman Pascal Amblard came with an exotic panoramic view. Don Gray even taught a Vert de Mer to someone who had never painted his whole life, interaction allover. A French professor marbled antique rediscovered marbles from Turkey.

Susan Arnild of Denmark was painted an incredible trompe l'oeil kitchen sink. The wall above had a crane of copper surrounded by Delft blue tiles. All tiles were so realistically done with the typical grease, oxide and patina. The complete thing was done in 'frontal perspective'. The old stone sink caused a cast shadow, the proof of illusion, it equaled an hologram. 


 Another 'winner' was the genius artist Patrick Kirwin from the USA, a loyal and animated original of the total Salon happening. His 'Piece de Resistance' was something that went far beyond virtual painting. A lavender blue shutter on which a rope hangs. On the rope hangs a fish, not just like that, but very reachable. The cast shadows of the rope and the dripping fish oil on the shutters. All things were really considered well. In fact, the total repertoire of Kirwin is unbelievable.

Jeanne White, also from the USA, demonstrated a stained glass imitation of leaf aluminum and exhibited a 'Gobelin' imitation never seen before at a Salon. 

Nicola Vigini, (hosting Salon 2002 San Antonio,Texas) an Italian who lives in America, exhibited and demonstrated this year. The man means quality; he is really creme de la creme. Currently, he travels throughout the US as a teacher of advanced workshops and owns his own professional school in San Antonio, Texas. He also works on large scale projects and commissions. During the Salon, Vigini exhibited and demonstrated Pompeian frescos (true to the style). The purest ornamental work. 

Ross O'Neal was an original in leaf metals the previous year and demonstrated gold leaf techniques again this year.  He is the current president of the American 'Society of Guilders'.


During the opening dinner, Jan Berghuis jr.of The Netherlands, presented a slide presentation about the future of decorative painting as we forge into the new millennium. "We must be open for new styles. Shall we keep on with the ancient decoration style or shall we get inspired from the new experiences?".  The panel (see above) he completed during the Salon with the help of numerous friends including Patrick Laheyne, demonstrated futuristic trends which he outlined in his lecture.

Many Swedes showed highlights of the typical folklore painting on different kind of objects. Roger Seamark (an Englishman who lives and works in Sweden) did many trompe l'oeil and breccia formations in which one could reveal also other forms. Seamark had also decorated a large panel with several Latin phrases entwined through each other, extreme creative sign-writing.

Also the young classical master Bo Grahn with his unbelievable ornamental panels, refined moldings and imitated paintings between woodgrain are worth mentioning.

There were no doubts about the organization. Together with the Palmgroup, the hundred years old Swedish federation of painting contractors and some extra sponsors made it a complete show. All participants were given a program book, city information, a free traveling ticket and lunches and diners. Demonstration areas were provided with all the needs to paint, together with new panels to work on, tables and high stools.

This year, two Lifetime achievement awards were given out to deserving individuals who have given of themselves for the craft of decorative painting.  This award is only presented to true craftsmen. Stellan Palm of Sweden and Robert Woodland of England were given these honorary plaques.  No two were more deserving.

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