In 1950, Åke K G Lundquist printed Lundagård’s most talked-about cover. Where students only saw filth, he saw something else.
“I sure remember this image!”
Åke K G Lundquist is looking at the first thing that met the eyes of Lundagård-readers in 1950 – a sketch of a couple having sex in a creative position. The image is known as one of the most provocative covers in the history of the newspaper.
On April 2nd, Lundagård celebrated 95 years as a student newspaper, and four days prior to that, Åke K G Lundquist celebrated his 91st birthday. He is the oldest living former editor of Lundagård.
There is a kept invitation to the newspaper’s anniversary celebration in May among the books and clippings on his table. It is one of the few correspondences he has had with Lundagård over the past years. When some of the former editors turned into prominent journalists, Åke K G Lundquist chose a rather anonymous life.
The Lundagård of 1950 was a completely different newspaper from what it is today. The early years were defined by a tradition of exceptional verse, written by distinguished poets, and this gave rise to performance anxiety.
At the same time, Lundagård was periodically more closely tied to student life than it had ever been before, or since. Hasse Alfredson the editor of Lundagård in 1956, came to personify this boisterous manner where enthusiasm, spex and student evenings were central features. However, this did not cater to everyone’s taste.
“I wasn’t that interested in student life. I’d rather go over to Denmark and visit the exhibitions”, Åke K G Lundquist says.
Above all, he was enthusiastic about design and literature. Lundagård became a stage for young modernists who challenged old modes of writing prose.
This sometimes caused protests, as when Bertil Ströhm wrote a sermon, four pages long, including the blood of pain, but no capital letters or full stops.
Did you ever experience any crisis?
“That would have to be this cover. Its subject is almost prohibited”, Åke K G Lundquist says.
Neither touchy teachers nor the person legally responsible for Lundagård criticized the cover. Instead, students showed their distaste concerning both the image and Åke K G Lundquist’s editorial, where he clarified “Lundagård’s standpoint”.
Åke K G Lundquist looks at the cover again. Despite the reactions it caused, he has always been proud of the image. It was never meant to provoke anyone.
“This image is not only representative of student life, but of life itself. It was a deeply conscious choice to have Lundgård reflect contemporary art and science. I always tried to keep pace with the art community”.
A significant part of his life has been centred on Copenhagen and its exhibitions. The man behind the image, the famous artist Gerhard Henning, was also based there.
Back then, the covers rarely reflected the contents of the magazine, but should instead be able to stand on their own.
What the image ultimately represents is for the viewer to decide. Where Åke K G Lundquist saw life depicted in lines and shapes, other people just saw filth, and this is the case today as well. However, 65 years have not changed his opinion.
“I think this image is incredibly beautiful”, he says with a proud smile.
Text: Kenneth Carlsson
Translation: Sofia Nordstrand