The two exhibitions have been touring the world from Sydney, Australia in the east to Vancover, Canada i the west. The stops so far: Netherlands, Scotland, Australia (two stops), Spain, Canada (three stops), Belgium, US (five stops), Austria, Estonia and France.
The Vikings are Scandinavian celebrities. But what do we actually know about them as people? The legend of Vikings as brutal warriors is widespread, but few people know about their society and culture. The international touring exhibitions “We Call Them Vikings” show that the tales of violence are only a small part of the Viking world.
Viking society is depicted through thematic narratives, with a focus on people’s roles and relationships, and on how the fantastic Norse sagas are closely entwined with everyday work, life and death. Each theme is set against a modern framework that contrasts with and links symbolically to the stories. Objects in display cases and texts are incorporated into the architecture so that visitors can wander through a landscape that awakens thoughts about a bygone society.
Each exhibition theme includes interactive elements and the opportunity to explore the theme in greater depth. The design is modern and stylised, but with strong graphic impressions from the Viking period such as runes and ornamentations. The highlight of the design element is a unique art installation consisting of free-hanging rivets (original artefacts) that form the outline of a Viking ship.
Se all the objects from the first exhibition on Flickr here.
Se all the objects from the second exhibition on Flickr here.
“We Call Them Vikings” can be seen as an extension and development of the Swedish History Museum’s own “Vikings” exhibition, the world’s largest exhibition of artefacts from the Viking period. Many foreign tourists come to the museum specifically because they are curious about Vikings, and so it feels entirely natural to tell the story of the Vikings in a way that has been specially adapted for an international audience.
The Viking exhibition at the Swedish History Museum is closed at the moment. We are opening a new version, based partly on the touring exhibition, in spring 2020.
“We Call Them Vikings” was produced by the Swedish History Museum in association with MuseumsPartner and studio-exhibit in Austria. The Swedish History Museum has contributed expert knowledge, educational expertise and artefacts. The design and exhibition concept was created by studio-exhibit, while MuseumsPartner has been responsible for tour logistics and sales.