From the age of the Vikings to the settlers of the New Sweden Colony (1638-1655), to contemporary issues in Scandinavian society, the American Swedish Historical Museum will take you back in time and across the sea to learn the stories of Swedes in America.

Past Exhibitions

Hundreds of Sami-the indigenous peoples of northern Scandinavia-traveled 10,000 miles to Alaska in 1894 and 1898 to teach reindeer herding to Alaskan native peoples (the Yup'ik and Inupiaq). This is the story told by “The Sami Reindeer People of Alaska”, a traveling exhibit sponsored by the Sami Cultural Center of North America.
Erika Larsen introduces us to the day-to-day lives of modern Sami families through her acclaimed photography exhibition. From her intimate vantage point, Erika immersed herself in the culture, language, and land of the northern Sami. Her work gives us an intimate peek into the beautiful, bloody realities of reindeer herding.
On view in the Balcony Gallery of ASHM's Grand Hall, this exhibit is a series of 20 images that explore the stories of those who have found asylum in Sweden.
Designed by an enterprise partnering with the IKEA Foundation and the UNHCR, these refugee shelters offer displaced persons a secure, adaptable, and dignified place to live. The American Swedish Historical Museum’s ‘better shelter’ will be installed on the Museum’s lawn.
This exhibit captures the impact of the war in Syria. Twenty-two photographs, by acclaimed photojournalist Magnus Wennman, document the refugee crisis and what the simple act of bedtime brings for the youngest and most vulnerable refugees — children.
In a small exhibition located in the Kalm-Seaborg Gallery on the second floor, ASHM examines Swedish authors whose works have leaped across culture lines to impact the American literary landscape.
All over Scandinavia, December and January are filled with celebrations of good food, good drink, and good company. January – September 2017 learn about traditional holiday drinks such as Christmas beers, aquavit, and glögg. Offer a hearty “Skål!”
The Bishop Hill Colony was a religious community founded in Illinois in 1846 by Eric Janson and his followers. The small Swedish colony survived for only 15 years, but it left a lasting mark on immigration history.