"I cannot imagine my life and how it would have turned out had I not had Fårö."
Ingmar Bergman in an interview 2003

When Ingmar Bergman died at his home on Fårö in 2007, part of his estate included four island properties. According to his will, these were to be sold on the open market, and the proceeds divided among his nine heirs. The question of how the properties were to be administered as the cultural legacy of one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema sparked off a debate that reached far beyond Sweden’s borders.

Bergman had often expressed the wish that these buildings continue to be meeting places for people working within various types of artistic fields, also after his death. His youngest daughter, the author Linn Ullmann, lived on Fårö during her father’s illness in spring of 2007. Together with her family, she moved into the house at Ängen in September of the following year, working and looking after the properties.

It was during these long and dark winter evenings on Fårö that Ullman and her writer colleague Brit Bildøen developed a plan for the possible future use of the houses – a plan that would be in keeping with the spirit of Ingmar Bergman and help to maintain Fårö as a vibrant community. The Bergman Estate was to be anything but a museum. Artists and scholars of every kind and from all over the world would come here to work, while the houses would provide an arena for public cultural events, many of them with a special view to the children and young people of Fårö and Gotland.

A busy period followed, dedicated to the effort of finding someone willing to buy the properties and realise the vision of The Bergman Estate. Time had nearly run out, when Norwegian archaeologist and inventor Hans Gude Gudesen became aware of Linn Ullmann’s plans for the properties and contacted her. In autumn of 2009, Gudesen bought back nearly all of the personal effects that had been auctioned off at Bukowskis in Stockholm, and soon after his bid for Bergman’s houses on Fårö was accepted.

Under the leadership of Linn Ullmann and Brit Bildøen, and in cooperation with a dedicated and enthusiastic Board of Directors, began the important and time-consuming work of developing and formalising what was to become The Ingmar Bergman Estate on Fårö Foundation. Kerstin Brunnberg, a Swedish journalist with extensive experience in the cultural field, was an important early supporter of this effort. Her active involvement with the Board, first as Vice-Chairperson and subsequently as Chair of the Foundation, has been decisive for the project’s progress.

In May 2010, Bergman’s furnishings and personal belongings were returned to the properties, which had been carefully and tastefully renovated by the owner. Only a few days later, The Bergman Estate on Fårö welcomed its first guests.

For more information about the Bergman Estate, read the initial project outline written by Linn Ullman.

"I cannot imagine my life and how it would have turned out had I not had Fårö."
Ingmar Bergman in an interview 2003

The Years

1960 In April, Ingmar Bergman visits Fårö for the first time, about to shoot the film Through a Glass Darkly. It is love at first sight.
1965 Ingmar Bergman decides to move to Fårö. He still keeps an apartment in Stockholm.
1967 On Midsummer’s Eve, the house of Hammars is ready to take in Bergman and Liv Ullman along with their daughter Linn.
1971 Ingmar Bergman marries Ingrid Bergman (née von Rosen), she moves in with Ingmar at Hammars.
1995 Ingrid passes away. Between 1967 and 2000, Ingmar Bergman marks each year on the door of his office with a red pencil. The year 1995 is crossed out.
2003 Ingmar Bergman decides to leave the theater, sell the apartment in Stockholm and move to Fårö permanently.
2007 Ingmar Bergman passes away in his house at Hammars. Before his passing, Bergman picks the location of his grave and gives directions for the funeral. No other flowers than red roses are allowed.
2009 According to his will, all objects that belong to Ingmar Bergman are auctioned off at Bukowskis. Hans Gude Gudesen purchases almost every single item. Shortly thereafter, Gudesen’s offer for the houses is accepted.
2010 In May, all furniture and items return to Fårö. The Bergman Estate on Fårö recieves the first guests a few days later.