SKARA – Eastern Vänern
Jula is just not a big department store with things big and small
Art Hotel with Zorn, Liljefors
and Carl Larsson attracts many tourists
It is well known that Anders Zorn loved to paint his Dalecarlian women in different poses, which can be seen at Skara Art Gallery.
Peter Dahl’s mighty painting covering an entire wall is called “ The grand meal in Ödeshög”.
Carl Larsson liked to paint his home and his family, like on the left his son Erik L. Larsson from 1891.
Paris-inspired Bengt Lindström is one of our more spectacular painters and also the one who is the most plagiarized. At the Skara Art Gallery though there are exclusively original paintings.
Local Manager Ulrika Kjellman is proud of the art collection present at the hotel.
Just about everyone has at some point gone shopping at a Jula department store.
But have you ever stayed at a Jula Hotel?
And have you ever stayed at a hotel with an art exhibition worth many millions of kronor?
If you haven’t you can just go to Skara. That is the location of Skara Art Hotel that until this year went by the name Jula Art Hotel.
It is part of the Jula business concern that is owned by Karl-Johan Blank. But it was his father, Lars-Göran Blank, who died on the 1st of March 2014, who founded the Jula department stores, started a hotel business and came up with the idea of creating an art exhibition at the hotel.
Lars Göran’s genuine interest in art was not limited to just owning nice paintings. He wanted to display them as well and he thought the hotel would be a good and safe place for expensive art. And it would let the guests experience this Swedish cultural treasure for themselves while at the same time it attracted new visitors as well.

Only the best was good enough
And the ambition was set high. Only the best was good enough when it came to selecting which painters would get to be represented at the art hotel. And it was just as well to start off with the two most legendary painters that Sweden has seen: Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson.
Today Skara Art Gallery has 28 paintings by Anders Zorn and a handful by Carl Larsson. In addition there are other painters like Jenny Nyström, Bruno Liljefors, Bengt Lindström and Peter Dahl represented as well. And Karl-Johan Blank continuously buy more art.
Lars-Göran Blank was very interested in art and early on he dreamed of owning a Zorn painting. He was also an amateur painter himself and his biggest painting is on display at Skara Art Gallery.
The art is spread out all over the hotel from the conference rooms to the dining room and the idea is to exhibit art on other floors as well.

Sommarland attracts hotel guests
But the Jula Hotel is not just an art museum. During the summer season it truly is a family oriented hotel with ties to Skara Sommarland just 10 km away.
-We have a huge number of families with children who stay here then. The rest of the year we are nearly always fully booked Monday – Thursday, local manager Ulrika Kjellman explains.
The week that we visited, the hotel had 16 conference reservations!
The Jula Hotel has also left the Best Western hotel chain and started their own little chain since Karl-Johan Blank bought and refurbished the Skara Principal Hotel (Skara Stadshotell), The Golden Otter by Lake Vättern and Gysinge Manor House.