The Axel Fridell Pin Award

The Swedish Fine Art Print Society has worked to advance the art of printmaking ever since FfGK’s inception in 1887. Initially this was accomplished by organizing print exhibitions, often in collaboration with Swedish and foreign museums and other organizations. During the 1980s a program of grants and project funding was introduced to support artists, writers, researchers, curators, exhibition organizers, printmaking workshops and others. In the year 2000 the FfGK board decided to establish a special honorary printmaking award to pay tribute to individuals who have made noteworthy and commendable contributions to the advancement of fine art printmaking through their artistry, their teaching or writing, their innovations or technical skills.

The award was given the name The Fridell Pin Award after the artist who contributed the greatest number of prints to FfGK portfolios in the Society’s 114 year history up until that point, namely Axel Fridell. This special pin is designed like a miniature copper plate (25 x 20 mm) with Fridell’s most famous drypoint, “Mr. Simmons” also known as The Newspaper Reader (“Tidningsläsaren,”) engraved on the surface. A tiny version of one of Fridell’s own drypoint needles rests on the plate.

The silversmith Karin Ferner from Falun designed this award. She creates a new pin whenever a new recipient of the Fridell Pin Award is selected. The Pin is not awarded at regular intervals, so It may take several years before a new recipient is chosen.
So far there have been 14 Fridell Pin recipients, 8 of them are artists who have also been active as teachers and writers.

2000 Nils G. Stenqvist (1934 – 2005), Stockholm, artist, professor at the Royal Institute of Art / Kungl. Konsthögskolan
2004 Kerstin Holmer (1960), Norrköping, curator, Norrköping konstmuseum
2004 Anders Nyhlén (1951), Uttersberg, co-owner Galleri Astley, Uttersberg
2005 Karl Haskel (1935-2019), Stockholm, writer, cultural journalist
2007 Pentti Kaskipuro (1930 – 2010), Helsinki, artist and teacher
2010 Cecilia Frisendahl (1922 – 2014), Stockholm, artist, writer and teacher
2011 Ole Larsen, Helsingborg, (1954) Helsingborg, master printer
2013 Jordi Arkö (1951), Garsås, artist, teacher, art consultant
2013 Ia Holmstrand (1949), Strängnäs, print curator and consultant
2013 Svenrobert Lundqvist (f. 1940), Mölndal, konstnär
2015 Rune Bondjers (1948), Falun, museum curator, writer
2016 Lars Lundqvist (1949), Lund, artist and teacher
2017 Rachelle Puryear (1950), Stockholm, artist, teacher, art historian and translator
2017 Leif Elggren (f. 1950), Stockholm, konstnär & kung av Konungarikena Elgaland-Vargaland
2023 Mikael Kihlman (1953), Stockholm, artist, printmaker