Scandinavian design burst upon the American market in the 1950s, when contemporary pieces from Nordic countries became the subject of large-scale marketing campaigns. Scandinavian household goods—crafted silverware, teak ice buckets and cutting boards, all catering to the rise of cocktail culture—were advertised with ambiguous, sometimes racist images of Vikings. The Nordic objects were avant-garde yet accessible, and also embodied an early move toward environmental sustainability. Behind the movement were European émigrés from the north, and Americans who studied or worked in Scandinavia. Immigration, international exchange, and the analysis of cultural myths are major themes in this exhibition. —E.C.
Nationalmuseum Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2, 111 48 Stockholm, Sweden Get Directions »