Vänersborg museum and Adolf Andersohn
Adolf Andersohn wanted to bring the world to Vänersborg and exhibit it at Vänersborgs museum. He wanted to share what he had experienced on his travels and get Vänersborg to be amazed by all the beautiful and exotic items from all around the world.
In 1833, the 13-year-old Adolf Andersohn (1820-1887), son of a bookkeeper, moved to Vänersborg to take service as an errand boy. Twelve years later Andersohn opened his own shop. By converting the business to the grain trade, he founded a substantial fortune. During the 1860´s Andersohn drew back from trading operations to pursue this major areas of interest - charitable activities, travel and collecting.
Anderson´s donations included an organ for the church, schools for the needy and made Andersohn to be acclaimed as a great benefactor of the town. At the same time, he made several trips to various parts of southern and central Europe and around the Mediterranean. During his travels he immersed himself in his third major interest - to collect. Adolf Andersohn´s collections came to include both natural and cultural history. He had a true romantic nature and the objects he collected were beautiful, exotic and strange. They would rather convey feeling than factual knowledge .
In 1871, Andersohn donateda a major collection of natural history museum to the secondary school. When Axel W Eriksson in the early 1880´s offered Vänersborg his extensive bird collection there became a problem overcrowding in the exhibitions.
Andersohn took the initiative for the construction of a museum building that would accommodate both his own collections and the secondary school museum, Eriksson´s birds and Vestra Sweden Landtbruks Museum. Andersohn´s call for funding for a museum didn´t attract interest he had hoped. He therefore had to pay for the major part of the project himself. The builder, August Krüger began to build the museum in 1885. During the work with the exhibitions, Andersohn suffered a stroke and died in 1887. The exhibitions were therefore organized by a committee consisting of two high school instructors and a savings bank teller .
When Vänersborgs museum opened in 1891, it was a manifestation of Andersohns museum thought. The museum would show the world to Vänersborg. One should be amazed by the beautiful and exotic objects . The museum would also generate respect for God and the Fatherland and inculcate good morals of the rising generation, according Andersohns intentions.