Trace the history and evolution of the Scandinavian Design movement over 90 years in an exhibition that brings generations together!

The exhibit Scandinavian Design & USA – People, Encounters and Ideas, 1890–1980 is open at Stockholm Nationalmuseum in Sweden through January 9, 2022. This exhibit is the product of extensive international collaboration and new research and shows the relationship between Scandinavian and American design in the 20th century. It is co-organized by Stockholm Nationalmuseum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Vesterheim has loaned artifacts to the exhibit, which, after Sweden, will tour Norway (Nasjonalmuseum, Oslo), Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), and Milwaukee (Milwaukee Art Museum). For the Sweden and Oslo venues only, a sixth artifact (tapestry) from Vesterheim is included.

This major international loan exhibition is the first to present the extensive exchange of design ideas between the United States and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) between 1890 and 1980. This exhibit helps visitors discover how transatlantic relationships between Scandinavia and the United States became central to cultural heritage on both sides of the pond.

Among the topics examined are the significance of Scandinavian emigration and the large-scale marketing campaigns for Scandinavian design in the United States in the 1950s. The exhibition also considers the role played by design as a tool of international diplomacy.

We hope you’ll be able to see the show!

The schedule for this exhibit is:
Stockholm Nationalmuseum October 14, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Oslo Nasjonalmuseet March 17 – August 7, 2022
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin March 24 – July 23, 2023
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California October 9, 2022 – February 5, 2023

Details of Vesterheim artifacts on loan are:
Plate painted by Per Lysne of Stoughton, Wisconsin, ca. 1940. Inscription: Smorgasbordet er nu dækket. Vær saa god! (The smorgasbord is ready. Help yourself!).
Vesterheim 1987.155.001 – Museum purchase.

Platter painted by Volet D. Christophersen of Marinette, Wisconsin, 1976. Inscription:
Norse Immigrant Sesquecentennial 1825 – 1975, Bicentennial USA 1776 – 1976.
Vesterheim 1976.062.001 – Museum purchase.

Drinking horn carved by Lars Kinsarvik of Hardanger, Norway, 1890. Exhibited at the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893.
Vesterheim 2001.037.001 – Gift of Dr. Eugene J. and Olive Nordby in honor of Darrell Henning at his retirement from curatorship at Vesterheim.

Chair made by John Lund and painted by Per Lysne, both of Stoughton, Wisconsin, ca. 1925.
Vesterheim – Gift of Marjorie and Winfield Johnson.

Chair carved by Rev. Erik Kristian Johnsen in St. Paul, Minnesota, 1900-1910.
Vesterheim LC0756 – Luther College Collection, gift of Tonete Jensen and Charlene Foster.

The Animal Kingdom tapestry, designed by Thorolf Holmboe of Oslo, Norway, and woven by Pauline Fjelde in Minneapolis, Minnesota, ca. 1913. Vesterheim 1975.032.001 – Gift of Gudrun and Elizabeth Hansen.

Vesterheim artifacts in the exhibit on view at Stockholm Nationalmuseum. Photos courtesy Nationalmuseum.