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Everyone has an Object with a Story

It is the story that makes an ordinary object, extraordinary.

The American Swedish Institute's exhibition extra/ordinary showcases the stories behind objects in our historic collections. We also wanted to share other stories from the ASI community, many inspired by the exhibition, that you can read from home! 

We know that outside the walls of the museum there are even more objects with stories to be told – here are but a few.

Click on each object to read the extraordinary story behind it. 

Objects often hold more meaning than meets the eye, meaning that is uncovered when a story is shared. Share an object and story that is meaningful to you on Instagram by using the hashtag #ExtraInTheOrdinary.

Photography credit: Sara Hughes


extra/ordinary is produced by the American Swedish Institute. Lead support provided by IKEA. Major support provided by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Karin Larson, Leslie Nelson, Lisa Paulson, Mike and Barb Nelson, Joanne Reisberg, Chris and Chick Lane, Laurie Jacobi and Cotty Lowry, Willow Hagens, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, and ASI’s members and donors. ASI’s hotel partner is the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot. The exhibition’s media partner is the Star Tribune.
Minnesota artist activity 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.