Beata Mårtensson-Brummer was an artist, designer and teacher. She was also a generous donor.
Beata Mårtensson-Brummer was born in 1880 in Lund. Her mother was Bengta Mårtensson and her father Nils Mårtensson was a farmer. Beata Mårtensson-Brummer was the youngest of six siblings. When she was eighteen, in 1898, she started attending the crafts school Högre Konstindustriella skolan (now Konstfack) in Stockholm. For several years, she received scholarships from Fredrika-Bremer-Förbundet for courses at the section known as Tekniska skolan.
In 1902, Beata Mårtensson-Brummer completed her studies and was appointed the same year as a teacher in painting at the same school. She was a member of the crafts society Konsthantverkarnas gille (now Konsthantverkarna) and with among others Annie Frykholm she exhibited textile works. For a number of years, the Swedish crafts association Svenska Slöjdföreningen (now Svensk Form) purchased works from Beata Mårtensson-Brummer as prizes for their lotteries, for example textile works and a stoneware vase composed by her.
Beata Mårtensson-Brummer remained at Högre Konstindustriella skolan until 1911. She made breaks for study trips to Paris and Italy. In Paris in 1905 she met Jouska (later Joseph) Brummer, a Hungarian sculptor, but despite their mutual attraction, Beata Mårtensson-Brummer returned to Sweden and her teaching post. As a teacher, she was reputed to be a strongly inspiring personality with great ability to ”awaken that which was still slumbering” in her pupils. She worked in an atmosphere of joy and willingly shared her enthusiasm, knowledge and skills as well as her great seriousness about the assignments facing her.
For a period, Princess Maria, then married to Prince Wilhelm, was her pupil. The princess had seen paintings by Beata Mårtensson-Brummer and desired to have her as her painting teacher. Beata Mårtensson-Brummer was also appointed as a pattern designer at AB Svensk Konstslöjd and employed as the first woman artist at the Gustavsberg porcelain factory. There she succeeded Gunnar G:son Wennerberg in 1908 as the artistic leader and advisor.
Beata Mårtensson-Brummer was a versatile artist. She painted in oils, watercolours and tempera or drew. Her motifs were of the landscape and town, and she painted portraits and still life. She made sketches for textile works like lace and tapestry, designed ceramic pieces that were manufactured by Gustavsberg and designed congratulatory scripts. In the latter capacity, she was described in a newspaper article as a ”gifted lady texter”. She signed her works in various ways: BM, B-a M-n, B-a Mårtensson or Beata Mårtensson.
Beata Mårtensson-Brummer participated in the Industry Exhibition in Stockholm in 1909, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, at which the women artists’ association Föreningen Svenska Konstnärinnor showed their works in 1911. They were shown again in Paris two years later. She exhibited at Konstnärshuset in Stockholm in 1915 and with Inez Leander she had an exhibition in Gävle in 1918. Liljevalchs Konsthall showed her art in 1927. She is represented at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, in Gustav VI Adolf’s and Prince Wilhelm’s collections and at Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde.
From 1915 until 1920, Beata Mårtensson-Brummer was head teacher at Högre Konstindustriella skolan but before that she had returned to Paris and Joseph Brummer who was now established as an art dealer. The couple had a civil wedding in London in 1911 and settled down in Paris, where her husband and his two brothers had a gallery.
When the first world war broke out, they found it best to close the gallery and move to America. In New York, on Manhattan, Joseph Brummer opened his own gallery in 1921, Brummer Gallery, specialising in European medieval and renaissance art as well as ancient objects from early civilisations. The gallery also arranged many exhibitions with modern European art and Beata Mårtensson-Brummer was her husband’s assistant in arranging these. She also worked as a conservator.
Joseph Brummer died in 1947 and Beata Mårtensson-Brummer was his heir. She moved back to Sweden in 1953 and upon her own death she willed about one million Swedish kronor to Swedish institutions and private persons. Her old place of work, Konstfackskolan, the Karolinska Institutet and the Föreningen Svenska Konstnärinnor among others received large sums of money. To the Historiska Museet in Stockholm, she willed a sixteenth-century altar crucifix in rock crystal, from Pope Leo XIII’s collection, a twelfth-century marble colonette from the South of France, and an Egyptian alabaster urn that had been found in a grave.
Beata Mårtensson-Brummer died on 15 July 1956 in Stockholm.