Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood
Quick: Can you identify the five flag emblems on the Nordic Heritage Museum (in order from left to right)? No fair Googling. (answers at the end of this post)
Since 1980, the Nordic Heritage Museum has held a special place in the hearts of Seattle’s Scandinavian community. Through rotating art exhibits, permanent collections and special events, the museum is the only museum in the U.S. to celebrate the cultural heritage of all five Nordic countries: Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Sweden.
Warm Welcome for Visitors
Currently, Nordic Heritage Museum is housed in the former Daniel Webster School in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. But with construction already underway, anticipation runs high for its move to a new, 57,875-sq. ft. state-of-art facility in Ballard in 2018.
Why not get a head start? While dreaming of your own visit to Norway, for instance, you can still visit the museum at its present location to get an overview of the ties between Scandinavia and the Pacific Northwest. You can even register for language classes, watch a movie, attend a lecture or learn a new craft like Norwegian Rosemaling (decorative folk art), Nordic woodcarving or Scandinavian knitting.
To view the exhibits, start your tour on the first floor with a walk through “The Dream of America” exhibit.
Waiting to Embark on a New Life in the Dream of America
Attracted by the promise of tillable farmlands, logging and fishing opportunities in the Northwest, emigrants from the five Nordic countries packed their bags and trunks and headed to America.
Boarding the Ship for America
Recreated scenes help us imagine the emigrant journey, from boarding the ships to settling in the New World. Considering the current focus on U.S. immigrants, the exhibit offers a poignant reminder of our connection with people and cultures across the globe.
On Board Bound for America
Dream of America Display
Continue to the second floor to discover more about the fishing and logging industries that brought settlers to the Northwest.
Museum Gift Shop
In addition to offering a library and gift shop, the new Nordic Heritage Museum will include a café, auditorium and cultural resource center.
Display Outside the National Heritage Galleries
For more detailed information on each of the five Nordic countries, view the National Heritage Galleries on the third floor.
“Norway in the Northwest” Exhibit
* Answer (in order from left to right): Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden.
For more information, visit Nordic Heritage Museum.
What about you wanderboomers? What’s your favorite cultural heritage museum?