museum galleries

Ceiling painting in the beautiful Hall

The American Swedish Historical Museum was founded in 1926, the year that marked the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Americans from all backgrounds celebrated their heritage and their contributions to the United States of America. A group of Swedish-Americans was inspired to build the Museum as a permanent monument to Swedish contributions in the United States.
The Jenny Lind Room The Museum is located on land that was once part of a 17th-century land grant from Queen Christina of Sweden to colonist Sven Skute. The main building was modeled after a 17th-century Swedish manor house, and the arcades are patterned after those of George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon.

New Sweden Gallery

Two of the Museum’s 12 galleries - the Sven Gunnarsson and Jonas Nilsson New Sweden Gallery and the Golden Map Room - are devoted to the history of the New Sweden Colony, established in the Delaware Valley in 1638. The museum provides a wealth of information about this often unfamiliar period in our history.

To make a virtual journey through the New Sweden Colony, our New Sweden Google Map informs about present day museums, churches, surviving landmarks from the colony. Info about the map here.

For more information on the museum's archival collections, please visit the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries’ website.

The Swedish Farm House - Stuga

A Swedish farm-house interior, or stuga, honors the large wave of Swedish immigration during the second half of the 19th century. Included in the collections on display are beautiful examples of Swedish glass and works by Carl Larsson, Carl Milles, and Anders Zorn.

Sven Birger Sandzén is the featured artists on the balcony level. Sandzén was born in Blidsberg, Sweden, in 1871 and studied art in Skara, Stockholm. He moved to the United States as a young man and enjoyed a long, distinguished career as an art professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. On view is a selection of Sandzén’s wood block prints, drypoints, oil paintings, watercolors, and hand-made greeting cards from the ASHM collection. 

Other galleries, ranging in style from Art Deco to International, concentrate on more recent Swedish contributions, including those of John Ericsson, who built the Monitor; Fredrika Bremer, novelist and women’s rights activist; and Jenny Lind, the soprano and Pippi Longstocking, the beloved children's book character.



Photograph credits
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