Old office rooms that have again been turned into exhibition space now house the Treasury. The color scheme is inspired by the building’s architect Stüler’s original proposal for the intermediate floor. Here 1,170 small objects of major significance are on display.
For a number of reasons, Nationalmuseum has the world’s largest collection of portrait miniatures, 5,200 in total, with the number increasing steadily. A significant portion derives from the master collector Carl Fredrik Dahlgren, while the more exclusive works were donated by Hjalmar Wicander, a cork factory owner.
Production of bottle corks for the brewery industry provided the basis of his fortune. Wicander also donated funds specifically for additional purchases of miniatures. A portrait miniature could serve as an exclusive calling card or a lover’s gift – and was often carried close to the recipient’s heart. Now more than 600 of them are on display, everything from Nicholas Hilliard’s depiction of Queen Elizabeth I to Siri Derkert’s 20th century portrait of her son Carlo. For the first time, the miniature paintings are shown in context, together with other accessories such as jewelry, boxes and pocket watches.
The museum has been collecting contemporary jewelry over a lengthy period, but never previously actively acquired older objects. Consequently, in recent years significant complementary aquisitions have been made. Visitors can now make a close-up study of substantial parts of this collection. Jewelry is traditionally associated with women, but the exhibition also has a selection of accessories for men, ranging from canes to medals.