Béatrice Glase was a journalist and writer on art history with strong involvement in the women’s movement.
Béatrice Glase was born Béatrice De Rougemont in 1918 in Geneva, where her parents, who were both artistically active, happened to be on a study trip. Her parents had met in Paris, where her mother, Sigrid Wahlström from near Gävle, was studying painting for among others Fernand Léger, while her father Philippe De Rougemont from Lille in France was studying at the Académie Delécluse. The family settled in Sweden in 1919.
Both parents were successful artists and her father became a frequently hired portrait painter of royalty, company directors and regimental commanders in Sweden. Béatrice Glase attended school in Stockholm, matriculating at Nya Elementarskolan for girls in 1937.
After a number of years with trips abroad, she took her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Uppsala University in 1944. She had then already started working as a volunteer and journalist at Falkenbergs Tidning. After a year at Bohus-Posten in 1944, she then continued to Stockholms-Tidningen where she remained until 1948 with the assignment of general reporter.
The same year, in 1948, Béatrice Glase married the photographer Gösta Glase and started doing freelance work, for among others for the weekly magazine Året Runt. Her husband Gösta Glase is known for his classical Stockholm photographs from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and together they were active in the magazines Idun and Vecko-Journalen with portraits as well as food, fashion and travel photographs. They also created special topic issues, for example when Winston Churchill died in 1965, when Béatrice Glase was the editor of a memorial issue on the English statesman.
In Idun and Vecko-Journalen they also produced many portrait interviews with the women in the women’s movement of that time, such as among others Eva Moberg and Karin Westman Berg. Béatrice Glase’s own involvement grew along with her articles and research on the issue. The result was a fiery call to arms in the form of the book Utan kvinnor – låtsasdemokrati (Without women – pretend-democracy) in 1975. While the great women’s conference in Mexico City was taking place the same year, she had immersed herself in statistics and reports on equality in Sweden. In her book, Béatrice Glase delivered scathing criticism of Swedish male-dominated society in which women were treated as a minority group in the job market as well as in education. She established that women existed but did not count, and that they were practically absent in decision-making processes. She summed up the situation with the words “Swedish equality between men and women is a paper tiger”. Referring to the work of Karin Westman Berg and the sociologist Rita Liljeström, she encouraged readers to study women’s history and sex roles, as the current term was then, to illuminate the differences and injustices between the sexes.
The interest in art and culture that Béatrice Glase had inherited from her parents led at the same time to several books on the history of Stockholm, written together with her husband. The numbers grew with books on Gamla stan and Riddarholmen. One of their last shared larger works was a historical book of photographs of Swedish churches from Skåne to Lappland.
Béatrice Glase was rewarded towards the end of her life for her cultural contributions, with the
Samfundet St Erik’s plaque in 2002, and the same year also H M Konungens medal of the 8th order with a bright blue ribbon, for many years of valuable contributions at the Riddarholmen Church.
Béatrice Glase died in 2008. She lies buried with her husband in the De Rougemont family grave at the Northern Cemetery in Solna.