The exhibition was on display at Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.
For the first time, the relationship between Scandinavian and American design in the 20th century was the subject of an exhibition. Nationalmuseum was proud to present Scandinavian Design & USA – People, Encounters and Ideas, 1890–1980, the product of extensive international collaboration and new research. Through a uniquely curated set of artifacts drawn from collections in the United States and Scandinavia, visitors could learn about the trends that shaped the design aesthetic, identity and philosophy that we encounter to this day. Among the topics examined were the significance of Scandinavian emigration and the large-scale marketing campaigns for Scandinavian Design in the United States in the 1950s. The exhibition also considered the role played by design as a tool of international diplomacy.
Visitors could discover how transatlantic relationships between Scandinavia and the United States became central to cultural heritage on both sides of the pond. The exhibition was produced by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum in association with Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo, and Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.
When it was coined in the 1950s and promoted worldwide, the term Scandinavian Design referred to contemporary design from the Nordic countries. In the political and economic spheres, the concept became a brand embodying the traditions, culture, natural heritage and democratic values of Scandinavia. Although genuine to a certain extent, the concept is contentious, and the exhibition reveals a multifaceted design history reaching back much farther. Examples that stand out include airline advertisements featuring a Viking, the industrial design of new household goods, and finely crafted silverware for the new cocktail culture. Other examples that illustrate the widespread appeal of the concept include interior furnishings for the United Nations headquarters and upscale private residences, and car interiors featuring woven textiles.
Scandinavian Design & USA – People, Encounters and Ideas, 1890–1980 is co-organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum in collaboration with Nationalmuseum and Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo.
The exhibition is made possible by major grants from the Terra Foundation for American Art (International Tour and Exhibition sponsor) and the Henry Luce Foundation (Presenting Sponsor). Generous support is also provided through Nordic Culture Point.
The educational program is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Sweden.
You can either purchase your ticket in advance or buy it on site at the museum (subject to availability). Please note that an entrance ticket is required for all visitors, including children and visitors entitled to free admission (pre-book or reserve on site). The ticket is valid for one entrance during your pre-selected drop-in time.
Adults: SEK 85–SEK 170. Free admission for visitors under 20.
Lecture: Cranbrook – a living work of art and education
Lecture in English by architectural historian Kevin Adkisson on the Cranbrook Academy of Art, one of the United States' most influential educations in architecture, crafts and design. Participate on site in the museum or digitally via Teams on your own computer. Find out more about the lecture.