Scandinavian Design and the
United States, 1890–1980

Baker/Rowland Galleries

This major international loan exhibition is the first to present the extensive exchange of design ideas between the United States and the Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden—between 1890 and 1980. The exhibition complicates existing narratives about American and Nordic design, presenting an understudied chapter in American culture and history.

The exhibition features more than 180 objects, including furniture, textiles, drawings, ceramics, jewelry, glass, and product designs, organized into six themed sections: Migration and Heritage, Selling the Scandinavian Dream, Design for Diplomacy, Teachers and Students, Travel Abroad, and Design for Social Change.

Co-organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The exhibition and international tour are made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Major support is provided by the Krei Family in Memory of Melinda and the Henry Luce Foundation. Generous support is also provided by Nordic Culture Point.


Additional support is provided by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation; the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Collectors’ Corner; Travel Wisconsin; the Anders and Birgit Segerdahl Family; and the National Endowment for the Arts. This project is supported in part by the American Scandinavian Foundation, John Stewig and Dick Bradley in Memory of Dick’s Mother, Katherine, and O&H Danish Bakery.

Thanks to the Museum Visionaries:Donna and Donald Baumgartner John and Murph Burke Sheldon and Marianne Lubar Joel and Caran Quadracci Sue and Bud Selig Jeff Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation
  • Jens H. Quistgaard for Dansk Designs, Kobenstyle casseroles and pitcher, 1955. 5 1/8 × 11 1/2 × 9 in. Private collections. Photo by John R. Glembin.
  • Finn Juhl, Armchair (model 400-1/2), 1951. Manufactured by Baker Furniture Inc. 32 × 28 × 24 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Bequest of Dr. Lucille Cohn, M2013.69. Photo by John R. Glembin.
  • Maija Grotell, Vase, ca. 1950. 11 ¾ × 13 ¾ × 13 ¾ in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, with funds from the Edward U. Demmer Foundation, in memory of Cheryl Robertson, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Milwaukee Art Museum, 1979–1981 and 1993–1996, M2013.41. Photo by John R. Glembin.