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kultur The magazine of the Nordic Heritage Museum

SCISSORS FOR A BRUSH: The Dream of America Revisited 12 Ørnulf Opdahl’s Mood Paintings 26 Looking to the Future Museum 2

karen Bit Vejle 20

Contents nordic KULTUR 2013 The magazine of the Nordic Heritage Museum

Eric Nelson


lizette Gradén

Chief Curator

Erin M. Schadt

Marketing & Communications Manager


Graphic Designer

Contributors Karen Bit Vejle Per Dahlström Karrin Daniels lizette Gradén Sissel Guttormsen Eric Nelson Sandra Nestorovic Kirsten Olsen

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Irma Goertzen Einar Pedersen Hans Aarhus

President Vice President Treasurer

Trustees Hans Aarhus Curtis Arnesen Per Bakken Steven J. Barker Brandon Benson Ann-Charlotte Gavel Adams Irma Goertzen Peter Henning Ken Jacobsen Floyd Jones Sven Kalve leif Mannes lars C. Matthiesen Valinda Morse Allan Osberg Everett Paup Einar Pedersen Rick Peterson Vi Jean Reno Borje Saxberg Berit Sjong lisa Toftemark Tor Tollessen Debbi Vanselow Margaret Wright Consuls Erik D. laursen, Denmark Matti Suokko, Finland Kristiina Hiukka, Honorary Vice Consul, Finland Jon Marvin Jonsson, Consul General, Iceland Geir Jonsson, Honorary Vice Consul, Iceland Kim Nesselquist, Norway lars Jonsson, Sweden Honorary Trustees Dr. Stig B. Andersen Representative Reuven Carlyle leif Eie

Nordic Heritage Museum 3014 NW 67th Street Seattle, WA 98117 206.789.5707

The Nordic Heritage Museum receives important funding from


Welcome to Kultur


Looking to the Future Museum


Putting Nordic Heritage in Place


The Dream of America


Upcoming Exhibitions


The Art of Nostalgia


Scissors for a Brush


Mood Paintings of the North


Carving Traditions


Voices of Ballard & Beyond


New Nordic Cuisine


Nordic Ballard Cover photo by Marjaana Malkamäki. Back cover photo by Per Magnus Gjerde

Welcome to Kultur

Eric Nelson

I am pleased to welcome you to Nordic Kultur, the new annual magazine of the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, Washington. The magazine’s name, Kultur, comes from the Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish word for culture (Finnish: kulttuuri, Icelandic: menning), not simply a word, but a concept that is central to the Museum’s mission and celebrated in our community. Since its opening in 1980, the Museum has served as a beacon for local and international audiences to explore the Nordic experience, from our immigrant heritage and traditions to the best in contemporary Nordic art, music, and cinema. This publication is a manifestation of our mission: to share Nordic culture with people of all ages and backgrounds by exhibiting art and objects, preserving collections, providing educational and cultural experiences, and serving as a community gathering place. We present Nordic Kultur in order to share the inspirations that are the driving force behind our Museum. With a focus on bridging contemporary Nordic culture and the Nordic-American experience, the Nordic Heritage Museum offers a diverse range of events throughout the year, from our Nordic lights Film Festival in January to our traditional Yulefest in November. Our volunteers, members, and visitors make us an active and thriving community with their participation in language and craft classes, concert and movie series, and exhibition-focused lectures and events.

Since its opening in 1980, the Museum has served as a beacon for local and

Our location in Ballard, the heart of Seattle’s Nordic community, also allows the Nordic Heritage Museum to present the story of the Pacific Northwest, as it was made by settlers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden through permanent and temporary exhibitions (see page 12). Simultaneously, our temporary exhibition galleries allow us the space to bring cutting-edge exhibitions from Norden today to the Pacific Northwest in a cultural and artistic exchange like no other. You can read about three intriguing new exhibitions to the Museum starting on page 15 of this magazine. This is an especially exciting time at the Nordic Heritage Museum. We are approaching the fi nal stages of a Capital Campaign that will move us to a central new location on Market Street in downtown Ballard. Designed in conjunction with award-winning local architecture fi rm Mithun and internationally renowned Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa, a new state-of-the-art facility will be built to expand our programming and offer more of our extensive permanent collection (see page 2). Nordic Kultur allows us to expand our reach to new audiences and bring us closer to our dedicated core community of volunteers and members as we approach this important milestone.

international audiences to explore the Nordic experience, from our immigrant heritage and traditions to the best in contemporary Nordic art, music, and cinema.

Nordic Kultur could not exist without the generous support of our talented staff, donors, sponsors, volunteers, and members. As we look forward to an exciting new chapter for the Nordic Heritage Museum, I hope you’ll plan on visiting us here in Ballard, and join us in sharing the Nordic spirit!

Welcome to Kultur




Lo o kin g to th e Futu re M u se u m The Museum is in a strong position to move forward and fulfill its vision of a new, permanent home, allowing us to better serve the community and share Nordic culture with a broad audience.


ages and backgrounds by exhibiting art and objects, preserving collections, providing educational and cultural experiences, and serving as a community gathering place.

It has become the nexus for Nordic culture in Washington state and remains the only museum in the United States dedicated to preserving and exploring the cultural heritage of each of the five Nordic countries. Our mission is to share Nordic culture with people of all

Recognizing the limitations of its current home, the Museum has acquired property in a prime location on NW Market Street in Ballard. The location will provide the visibility and access necessary to fully engage the community. The new Museum will reflect Nordic sensibility in every aspect of its design, programming, and operations. As an arts and cultural institution that

ituated in a region with deep Scandinavian roots, the Nordic Heritage Museum is a vibrant cultural institution that is continually enhancing and expanding its distinctive collections and diverse programming.



Nordic Kultur 2013


Looking to the Future Museum

celebrates the sustainable ingenuity of Nordic cultures, the new Nordic Heritage Museum will seek not only to integrate sustainable approaches to energy, water, and materials, but also to reflect these as a part of the visitor experience. The Museum stands at the edge of a new and exciting chapter in its history; after years of planning and fundraising, we have generated over 60% of the funds required to construct a new purpose-built facility. With a total Capital Campaign goal of $44.4 million, as of December

2012, the Museum has raised $26 million. With less than $19 million to raise, the Museum is nearing the completion of the schematic design phase and preparing to spend the next 18 months focused on fundraising, securing necessary permits, and refining and finalizing exhibition design specifics.

Careful Planning To date, the Museum’s successes result from the careful and creative use of a 1907 school building. Despite renovations and refurbishments to the Seattle School District–

owned property, this leased facility lacks the infrastructure necessary to house a state-of-the-art museum for the 21st century. The antiquated systems prohibit the Museum from hosting premier exhibitions, international film festivals, and large performing groups on-site. Consequently, in 1999, we began developing a strategy to create a new, permanent home for the Museum.

Opposite: A conceptual view of the new Nordic Heritage Museum as guests enter. Features include, from the left: the admissions desk; the Museum gift shop that opens both to the lobby and outward onto bustling Market Street; an orientation area for school groups; the light-filled hall opens out to a sun terrace and the Ballard working waterfront; the entrance to a spacious auditorium.

Between 2003 and 2009, the Museum secured three parcels of land in a thriving area of Seattle’s Ballard District. The site is only minutes from the Hiram M. Chittenden

Above, bottom: Features of the first floor and grounds include the Kaffestuga and gift shop, dedicated class and craft rooms, a 4,000 sq.-ft. changing exhibition gallery, the National Identity Galleries, a sculpture court, auditorium, and ample parking.

Above, top: The second floor of the new Museum will include core exhibitions space dedicated to telling the story of the immigrant experience; the Maritime Gallery with a view of the working waterfront; and the Cultural Resource Center, which will provide a valuable research center for scholars, visitors, and community organizations.

Looking to the Future Museum


Nordic Kultur 2013


Rendering of the exterior and entry courtyard to the new Museum by Stephanie Bower, Mithun.

Locks, one of Seattle’s most popular tourist attractions. The design team for the new Nordic Heritage Museum includes Seattle-based architectural firm Mithun, Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa, and exhibition design firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates; each preeminent in their respective fields. (See sidebar.)

for visiting exhibitions will host world-class traveling exhibitions from the five Nordic countries. A large auditorium will house concerts, lectures, films, and workshops; and fully equipped classrooms will provide space for audiences of all ages interested in language study, arts and crafts, and Nordic cuisine.

Updates and Improvements

A cultural resource center will house the Museum’s extensive archives, and will provide visitors with access to historical documents, oral histories, and genealogical records. Improved storage systems will accommodate the Museum’s extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, documents, and artwork. The Museum will also provide a gathering place for regional Nordic organizations, expanding community involvement.

The new Museum will reflect Nordic values in every aspect of its design, programming, and operations. This entails 53,000 sq. ft. of new construction. An expanded core exhibition, including an updated Dream of America exhibition and National Galleries, will explore Scandinavian culture and North America’s Nordic heritage. A state-of-the-art gallery


Nordic Kultur 2013


Looking to the Future Museum

Green Building The new Nordic Heritage Museum will receive, at a minimum, a USGBC LEED Silver certification. In addition to the use of high-performance energy and water systems, the project will seek to optimize high-performing materials, with special focus on strategies that enhance use of local and regional resources. The design for the new Nordic Heritage Museum will reduce greenhouse gas emissions using strategies of a high-performing building envelope, bioclimatic building response for sun and wind, and efficient lighting and climate control systems. Rooftop and power systems will be designed to incorporate photovoltaic panels and solar hot water systems as funding allows.

Model of the exterior of the new Museum as seen from 28th Street on the west side of the property.

In addition to constructing a highly efficient building to house the Museum, our new location will encourage alternative ways for visitors to reach the Museum. A Metro transit hub will be located right at the entrance to the Museum, and the Burke-Gilman Trail will link the new Museum site to adjoining neighborhoods and to downtown Seattle for bicyclists and pedestrians. Your support for this new era of the Nordic Heritage Museum is crucial as we move forward. Visit our website at www.nordicmuseum/ support.aspx to make a donation or to view more images of the plans. If you are interested in securing naming rights through a major gift, please contact Eric Nelson, CEO, at 206.789.5707 ext. 14.

Cross-Continent Partnerships Our key partners are critical to this Capital Campaign Project. Mithun, the award winning Seattle-based architectural firm, is a national leader in sustainable design and urban planning, and has completed projects such as the Seattle Aquarium renovation, the Suquamish Museum, and a children’s center at the Woodland Park Zoo. Finnish architect and museum designer Juhani Pallasmaa is the team’s consulting Nordic designer. Managing the building project is Kirk Robinson of the Robinson Company. Working in conjunction with Chief Curator Dr. Lizette Gradén is exhibition design firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates. The firm has been responsible for noteworthy projects such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Newseum, the National Constitution Center, and the Clinton Presidential Library, as well as the National Civil Rights Museum and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. See more plans online at

looking to the Future Museum




Photo by Peder Otto Dybvik

Mood Photo by Per Magnus Gjerde

Paintings of the North Norwegian painter Ørnulf Opdahl’s landscapes are full with atmosphere, expressiveness, and mood.

Mood Paintings of the North


Nordic Kultur 2013


Photo by Peder Otto Dybvik


rnulf Opdahl is Norway’s most distinguished contemporary landscape painter, and one of the most noteworthy artists working in the Nordic countries today. He has shown his work in dozens of solo exhibitions throughout Europe since 1966. Opdahl’s work can be found in collections of Norway’s National Gallery, the British Museum in London, the National Library of Norway, among many other private and public collections. He lives and works on the island of Godøy west of Ålesund. Like the Pacific Northwest, Godøy is a landscape marked by contrasts in elevation, transitory weather, and ephemeral light. The landscape of the Sunmøre Mountains and nearby fjords informs his work, which reflects his knowledge and affinity for his surroundings: the glaciers, the trails around the fjords, and dramatic cliff faces.


Nordic Kultur 2013


Mood Paintings of the North

Above: Snefjell / Snow Mountain, 2011, 40 x 40 cm, oil on canvas. Previous pages: Landscape, 2009, 70 x 240 cm, oil on canvas. Portrait of Ørnulf

Photo by Peder Otto Dybvik

Opdahl’s approach to landscape work is meditative, and his subdued palate conveys a sense of the atmospheric; paintings of colossal mountains and deep fjords are rendered expressively in shades of grays and charcoal black, bringing to the viewer a sense of proximity and radiance.

Above: Påskemorgen / Easter Morning, 2009, 130 x 120 cm, oil on canvas.

Thanks to funding from Synnøve Fielding, Erik Breivik, and The AmericanScandinavian Foundation, the Nordic Heritage Museum will feature the exhibition Ørnulf Opdahl — Mood Paintings of the North, opening on June 28, 2013, and running through September 1, 2013. The exhibition will showcase 30 of his recent works, a repertoire of landscapes heavily influenced by the magnificent sense of place that is West Norway’s unique coastline. His work in this exhibit draws upon the Norwegian landscape painting tradition and the post Second World War abstract art movement.

Mood Paintings of the North


Nordic Kultur 2013


Nordic Ballard

For a fun day trip, explore the Nordic side of the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle. Erin M. Schadt


hether you are coming down from Bellingham, over from North Bend, up from Olympia or simply from another neighborhood in Seattle, a jaunt to Ballard is a great way to spend a day. Here are some tips to make your trip as Nordic-filled as possible!

people from all five Nordic countries. For a shorter visit, can’t-miss highlights include The Dream of America exhibition on the ground floor, the visiting exhibitions on the second floor, and if you have Nordic heritage, make sure to check out the gallery (or galleries) devoted to the country of your origin on the third floor. After all that culture, you’re sure to be hungry. Drive down 32nd and take a quick left to grab an order of fish & chips at Lockspot Cafe. If the day is nice, you can get your order to go and walk “next door” to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (you may know it as the Ballard Locks) and watch boats of all kinds pass through. The Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Garden is a beautiful area for a stroll yearround, and the visitor center features displays on the history of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Start out with a pastry and coffee at Larsen’s Danish Bakery at the corner of 80th St. and 24th Ave NW. The bakery specializes in Danish and Scandinavian breads, sweets, and pastries, and has been an institution in Ballard since the 1970s.

TIP: Can’t make it to Ballard? You can order many of their goodies on their website at

Nordic Kultur 2013


Nordic Ballard

Erin M. Schadt

Alistair Nash

Daniel Schadt

allows salmon to pass between fresh and salt water; watch through glass panels below the waterline as the fish make their journey.

A view from the locks

If you find yourself parched after such an enjoyable day, head over to The Viking, which has been keeping Ballardites “in the cups” since 1950; or try local legend Copper Gate (6301 24th Ave NW) bar and restaurant for a nosh on pickled herring and a cocktail made from housemade aquavits. (Fair warning: the walls are lined with vintage pin-ups!) The Stor Agurk cocktail with flavors of cucumber and fennel is a recommended way to cap off this Nordic day. Skål!

TIP: A fish ladder at the locks

At 10:00 a.m. (noon on Sundays), drive over to the Nordic Heritage Museum for a unique cultural experience. Take your time on all three floors of this museum dedicated to exhibiting art and objects and telling the stories of


Downtown Ballard is full of boutiques for shopping, or keep the day Nordic themed and pop up to Scandinavian Specialties at 6719 15th Ave NW for a treat to take home from their large selection of foods, including house-made knakkwurst, kjottkaker, and fish pudding, as well as a nice choice of cheeses, soup mixes, sauces, and preserves. And that’s just the tip of the gjetost!

Nordic Heritage Museum Membership Membership Has Its Benefits •

Unlimited free Museum admission

Invitations to exhibition previews and receptions

Discount to most Museum-sponsored events

10% discount in the Museum Gift Shop

Subscription to the bimonthly Nordic News

Subscription to the annual magazine

Unlimited use of Museum reference library by appointment

Reciprocal admission to Nordic-American sister Museums

Become a Member today online: or call us at 206.789.5707 ext. 33. Membership Levels Student (Full-Time) & Senior (62+) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25 Individual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35 Senior Couple . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $40 Dual (2 adults < age 62, same address) or Family . . . . $60 National (out-of-state residents) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25 Sustaining . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $150 (includes four guest passes) Patron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $300 (includes 6 guest passes and recognition in the Annual Report) Corporate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $300 (includes membership benefits for three officers plus 10 guest passes, decal, and recognition in Annual Report Join the President’s Club at $1,000 or higher As a President’s Club Member, you receive membership benefits plus 10 guest passes, and invitations to President’s Club special events including a January luncheon, a summer soiree, and recognition in the Annual Report. In addition, visit the website to learn more about organization memberships starting from $60. Give the Gift of Membership Call us to purchase gift memberships for your friends and family members! The Nordic Heritage Museum is a 501(c) 3 organization, please consult your tax accountant regarding tax deductions.





3014 nW 67th street seattle, Wa 98117 Return Service Requested.

Ørnulf Opdahl’s Mood Paintings 26

Nordic Kultur 2013 Exceprts  

Read excerpts from the new magazine of the Nordic Heritage Museum: Nordic Kultur. Become a Member and receive the magazine as part of your M...

Nordic Kultur 2013 Exceprts  

Read excerpts from the new magazine of the Nordic Heritage Museum: Nordic Kultur. Become a Member and receive the magazine as part of your M...