Scandinavian Design and the
United States, 1890–1980

May 15–September 7, 2020
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

International Tour and Exhibition Sponsor: Terra Foundation for American Art
Presenting Sponsors: The Krei Family in Memory of Melinda The Henry Luce Foundation
Leadership Sponsor: Nordic Culture Point
Supporting Sponsors: Barbara Osher Pro Suecia Foundation Milwaukee Art Museum’s Collectors’ Corner The Wisconsin Department of Tourism The Anders and Birgit Segerdahl Family
Contributing Sponsor: John Stewig and Dick Bradley in Memory of Dick’s Mother, Karine
Thanks to the Museum Visionaries:Debbie and Mark Attanasio 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.