Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon

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Thyra Hedera Martina Kullgren


Teacher, school principal, promoter of women's issues

Thyra Kullgren was a teacher, school and college principal, and a women’s rights politician. She was active in a large number of associations, among them the Fredrika Bremer Association.

Thyra Kullgren was born in 1870 in Varberg, the daughter of factory manager Carl Allvar Kullgren and his wife Amalia Sofia. She was given the opportunity of studying at the Kjellbergska girls’ school in Gothenburg, from which she matriculated in 1888. After that, Thyra Kullgren continued her studies at the women’s teacher training college, Högre Lärarinneseminariet, in Stockholm, where she qualified in 1892.

As a recently qualified teacher, Thyra Kullgren was appointed to a post at the school in Gothenburg where she had previously been a pupil, the Kjellbergska girls’school. She taught there until 1908. The year after that she was appointed to a new post as principal for the women’s teacher training college in Gothenburg, Högre Lärarinneseminariet, started in 1908 and run by a foundation (Stiftelsen Kjellbergska flickskolan). Three years later she also became the principal of the girls’ school. Thyra Kullgren was the principal there until 1931, and during this time she became esteemed for her capacity to knit together the scientific competence at Gothenburg College, the precursor of the University of Gothenburg, and the pedagogy at the women’s teacher training college. Since resources were lacking for a permanently employed teaching faculty at the teacher training college, the future teachers were taught and given lectures by the senior lecturers and professors at Gothenburg College.

Apart from working at Kjellbergska flickskolan, Thyra Kullgren was very active in both political life and many associations. She was among other things the second woman to be elected as a member of the Gothenburg Municipal Council in 1911 and initiative-taker to and chairwoman of the Women’s call-up in Gothenburg during the 1914—1918 world war. She was the vice chairwoman of the Fredrika Bremer Association’s Gothenburg branch in 1917—1930 and its chairwoman in 1931—1940. She was also the chairwoman of the Gothenburg girls’ schools’ association in 1918—1928.

In 1918, Thyra Kullgren was made a member of the board of the Pensions institution for women teachers at Swedish schools for female youth, and the same year she was appointed as an expert on the sobriety teaching committee. In 1919, she became a member of the West-Swedish branch of the Nordic association Foreningen Norden. In 1933—1944, she was a board member of the social authority Sociala centralbyrån in Gothenburg.

Thyra Kullgren died at Örgryte in Gothenburg in 1946. Her grave is at the Eastern Cemetery in Gothenburg.

Anders Svensson
(Translated by Margaret Myers)

Published 2020-03-02

You are welcome to cite this article but always provide the author’s name as follows:

Thyra Hedera Martina Kullgren,, Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon (article by Anders Svensson), retrieved 2024-07-19.

Family Relationships

Civil Status: Unmarried
  • Mother: Amalia Sofia Kullgren, född Kullman
  • Father: Carl Allvar Kullgren
  • Brother: Carl August Reinhold Kullgren
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  • Lärarseminarium, Stockholm: Lärarutbildning, Högre lärarinneseminariet


  • Profession: Lärare, Kjellbergska flickskolan
  • Profession: Föreståndare, fr o m 1909 Högre lärarinneseminariet vid Stiftelsen Kjellbergska flickskolan, fr o m 1912 Kjellbergska flickskolan
  • Non-profit work: Ledamot, Göteborgs stadsfullmäktige
more ...


  • Kvinnornas uppbåd i Göteborg
    Initiativtagare, ordförande
  • Göteborgs Flickskoleförening
  • Föreningen Norden
    Ledamot, västsvenska kretsen
more ...


  • Birthplace: Varberg
  • Varberg
  • Göteborg
more ...



Further References

  • Påhlsson, Monica, ’Thyra Kullgren’, "Så här kan vi inte ha det!", S. 123-124, 2019

Thyra Kullgren in Idun, 1931. Photographer unknown. Image source: Svenskt Porträttarkiv (CC-BY-SA 4.0)
Thyra Kullgren in Idun, 1931. Photographer unknown. Image source: Svenskt Porträttarkiv (CC-BY-SA 4.0)


19th century 20th century Teachers School directors Women's movement Politicians