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  • May 01, 2013

Son of a Birch—It's Popular Again

MINNEAPOLIS — Kicking off Minnesota Museums Month, the American Swedish Institute (ASI) today unveiled the name of its #NameThisExhibit—1200 Birchwood Plaques exhibit. ASI encouraged the public to help put a name to the exhibit which opened in late March and the response was overwhelming with more than 100 entries pouring in via Facebook and Twitter and gallery visitors.  
The new title is……Son of a Birch—It’s Popular Again.
Scott Pollock, ASI’s Director of Collections, Exhibitions and Programs and ASI Curator Curt Pederson announced the winning entry at ASI’s first ever art press conference in Osher Gallery surrounded by the kitchy plaques. “These birchwood plaques are the sleeper exhibit hit of the season and they make you stop and question what makes art good or bad, or is this even art? What everyone can agree on is that they’re a lot of fun,” said Pollock. Pederson announced, “With the amount of excitement around this exhibit, it’s clear we were barking up the right tree.”
The winning title came from a visitor named Mary who submitted the name at ASI’s Cocktails at the Castle spring celebration that more than 1,200 attended on April 30.  
Ranging from the serious to the absurd, runners up included: “Kindling,” “I went to a garage sale and I couldn’t stop buying these,” and “Yah you ‘birch’ yah!”.

With its new title, Son of a Birch—It’s Popular Again, the 1200 Birchwood Plaques exhibit runs through June 2 at the American Swedish Institute.

The American Swedish Institute (ASI) is a vibrant arts and culture organization and historic home located at 2600 Park Avenue near downtown Minneapolis. ASI attracts more than 65,000 people each year for tours of the landmark 1908 Turnblad Mansion, exhibits, classes and events that connect the community to contemporary Nordic culture and cultural heritage. Founded in 1929 by Swedish immigrant newspaper publisher Swan J. Turnblad, ASI now serves as a gathering place for people to share stories and experiences around universal themes of tradition, migration, craft and the arts, all informed by enduring ties to Sweden. Museum hours: Tue., Thu., Fri., Sun. 12–5 p.m., Wed. 12–8 p.m., and Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Museum admission: $7, $6 ages 62+, $4 ages 6-18 and students with ID. For more information, visit

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