United Stockholms of America tells the story of the migration of 1.3 million Swedes who left their homes in the late 1800s and the beginning of the twentieth century for a better future in the “Promised Land.” Many of these immigrants maintained ties to their homeland by giving their new American cities Swedish names, including Stockholm.
Through captivating photographs, Swedish photographer Charlie Bennet explores wildly varying degrees of Swedishness in eight American towns across Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Maine, Texas and South Dakota.
Most of these towns are now sparsely populated, desolate yet beautiful resorts that do not have much in common with Stockholm in Sweden. In the south of Texas only a sandy graveyard remains, while Stockholm in Minnesota is a shadow of its former self. But in Anderson's Store in Maine,one can meet gentlemen with Swedish sounding names like Lundqvist, Anderson and Bondeson. Another Stockholm, in Wisconsin, is now a beautiful tourist destination that attracts visitors in droves.
The photography exhibition, curated by Anna Maria Bernitz, has previously exhibited at the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC and the Stockholm City Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
This exhibition is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.
This project is also made possible by additional support from Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, The Embassy of the United States, Stockholm, Sweden, The City of Stockholm, Sweden, The Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in Stockholm, Sweden and the City Museum of Stockholm of Stockholm, Sweden.
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