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Bukowskis presents the Jan Torsten Ahlstrand Collection

Jan Torsten Ahlstrand GAN expert & cultural personality

Jan Torsten Ahlstrand was a great cultural personality who worked with and was involved in many different areas as an academician, museum man, author, cultural journalist, cicerone and more. For the auction world, he was the GAN expert above others.
Jan Torsten was born in 1938 in Borås. His father Torsten was a priest and museum man with a great interest in art, an interest inherited by his son. During the 1950s, after military service in Stockholm, Jan Torsten worked for a few years in Paris to learn French before moving back to Lund. He studied economic history, art history and philosophy and took his bachelor's degree in 1960.
Parallel to his studies, he worked as an assistant at Arkivet för dekorativ konst (later Skissernas museum). In 1962, Jan Torsten became the first assistant at the Department of Art History at Lund University. During the period 1966-81, he held various positions at the same institution.
In 1971 he became a philosophy licentiate in art history with a thesis in art theory on the Halmstad group's monumental paintings. He also took a degree o philosophy in 1974.
A few years later, in 1982, he left Lund University when he was appointed museum-, culture- and administrations director in Ystad municipality, where he stayed until 1989. He then returned to Lund, now as Director for Skissernas museum, where he was active until retirement in 2005.
In addition to his academic and museum career, Jan Torsten was engaged as a writer and cultural journalist. In 1969-81 he was deputy editor of ARIS (Art Research in Scandinavia). He wrote regularly in Sydsvenska Dagbladet, Borås Tidning, Skånska Dagbladet and the magazine Konstperspektiv.
Lund had a special place in his heart and the love was answered. Upon retirement in 2005, he was awarded the Lund Municipality's Medal of Merit. From 1983 and onwards, he was a member of Föreningen Gamla Lund. Shortly before his death, he sent in his last contributions to Gamla Lund's yearbook on Lunda Architects.

Over the years, Jan Torsten Ahlstrand has written several books on art and architecture and been a co-author of many more. For several decades, his book Architectural Terms was obligatory literature for students of art history at several universities.
One of Jan Torsten's last major completed projects was symptomatically enough about GAN. When Sven-Harrys konstmuseum in 2019 arranged the audience-attracting exhibition Sailor compositions - the drama of colour and the dynamics of the city with works by Gösta Adrian-Nilsson, he was an important helping hand to curator Pedro Westerdahl (Specialist at Bukowskis art department). Jan Torsten contributed with significant ideas, mediated contact with collectors, wrote a longer article for the catalogue and held appreciated viewings during the exhibition.
Jan Torsten himself wrote and was a co-author of several books about GAN. He spent many years writing an extensive monograph on GAN, which he, unfortunately, did not finish.
Bukowskis has had a long collaboration with Jan Torsten and wrote about several significant works both by the Halmstad Group and by GAN. We are many who have had long letter- and email conversations with Jan Torsten where he generously shared his knowledge, often with a subtle ending such as Med GANska många hälsningar (not translatable), Jan Torsten.

Bukowskis Modern Art + Design
Viewing 5 – 9 May, Bukowskis, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm.
Auction 10 – 11 May, Arsenalsgatan 2, Stockholm.

Read more about the upcoming Modern Art + Design auction

A selection of works from the collection; Otto G Carlsund "Apokalyptiskt landskap - Helvetets paradis". Gösta Adrian-Nilsson "Eiffeltornet". Sven Johnson "Svarta figurer". Erik Olson "Öde".

Consignment and valuation Welcome to contact us today.

Andreas Rydén
Andreas Rydén
Head Specialist, Art, Deputy Managing Director
+46 (0)728 58 71 39
Björn Extergren
Björn Extergren
Head of Consignment & Sales Department, Fineart. Specialist Antique Furniture, Decorative Arts and Asian Ceramics
+46 (0)706 40 28 61
Lena Rydén
Lena Rydén
Head of art, Specialist Modern Art
+46 (0)707 78 35 71
Amanda Wahrgren
Amanda Wahrgren
Specialist Modern Art, Prints
+46 (0)702 53 14 89