Agda Österberg (1891-1987) started the studio Tre bäckar (Three rivers) in her home in Skövde, Sweden, in 1939. She designed rugs and tapestries for public spaces as well as private homes. With time her modernistic röllakan (rollakan) rugs became bolder in colour and design. Her patterns developed from stylized to non figurative with bright colours such as lemon yellow, blue, fuchsia and turquoise. The use of such bright colours is unusual for Swedish flat weave kilims. Agda also created figurative and narrative tapestries such as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil for a public library in 1963. As a tribute to the first woman in space, she created The first female cosmonaut.
During her long career, Agda Österberg received scholarships to make study trips. In 1951 she was awarded the royal medal Illis quorum for significant artistic work. Västergötland’s antiquities association gave her the Medal of Merit in gold in 1975.
At the end of Agda Österberg’s artistic act Agda’s nephew Börje Österberg took over the activity at Tre bäckar. The weaver and designer Kerstin Persson who had been working at the studio since 1951 was the artistic leader at this time and until 2004 when all activity at Tre bäckar ceased. Börje Österberg’s son now owns the studio turned into a garden café, and you can find Agda’s archive here. The beautiful rugs and designs are still highly sought after.
Agda Österberg signed her carpets with her initials AÖ.