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  • ASI's collection of woodcarving

Material Collections


The Materials Collections includes more than 7,000 museum objects that express the best of contemporary Swedish culture and represent the historic and ongoing experiences of Swedish America.

ASI’s material collection focuses on

  • Artwork and objects pertaining to the Turnblad family and the American Swedish Institute
  • Fine and Decorative arts, particularly works by Swedish-American or leading Swedish artists
  • Objects reflecting the daily lives of Swedish Americans
  • Objects related to select Swedish American organizations and businesses
  • Objects representing all cultural groups in Sweden

The collection is strong in paintings, prints and drawings, Swedish glass, woven textiles, needle arts, as well as Swedish folk and vernacular clothing. Other collection categories include: armaments, art ceramics, birch weaving, ceremonial artifacts, dinnerware, figure carving, furniture, housewares, jewelry, memorabilia, music, personal artifacts, sculpture, tools and equipment, toys, models, miniatures, and the items in the Turnblad Mansion.

Contact ASI's Collection Manager Inga Theissen with questions about the collections, scheduling a visit, or general reference questions. 


ASI does not accept walk-in deposits of any kind. If an unsolicited donation is left at ASI, the owner will bear the risk and cost of transport for returning the items. Should the owner refuse to pay such costs, the item will be immediately disposed of.

ASI accepts donations of books, material objects, and archival materials on a very limited basis. The decision to accept donations is a complex one involving many factors, including relevance and substance of materials, available documentation, condition, associated legal issues, as well as cost and storage concerns that may be related to accepting the donation. Please note that ASI does not collect bibles, hymnals, psalm books or other religious/devotional materials. Specific collecting decisions are made in the context of ASI’s existing collections, its organizational goals, and mission.

In addition, as the majority of the library materials are older Swedish publications, preference is given to English-language materials published after 1975. However, the quality of the work and relevance to ASI programming and exhibitions will determine the suitability of each item, regardless of language.

Please note that ASI staff and volunteers are not allowed to provide appraisals or valuation of any kind.

For more information or if you have materials which you think may be appropriate for donation to the collection, please contact ASI’s Collection Manager Inga Theissen with a detailed description of the potential donation.