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Norse Saga Room - detail

CANCELLED University Day: The Norse Saga Room – Influence of Viking Culture

Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Discover the story and decorative arts found in the Norse Saga Room – the installation of the fairy tale-like room in the lower level of the Turnblad Mansion. This remarkable room is an inspiring tour de force of symbolism, design, story-telling and craftsmanship.

Scholars including Dr. Dag Blanck, Uppsala University; Dr. Claire Selkurt; and Lauran Gilbertson will present on the influence of Viking culture and the early Norse mythology extended into the fields of art and craft where Viking imagery was immensely popular. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, artists provided interior and furniture design for private homes and public venues using motifs that created a Viking effect and drew upon symbolism from Norwegian folk art, Norse mythology and Japanese art.

Dag Blanck shares his time between Sweden and the U.S. In Sweden, he is a Professor of North American Studies at Uppsala University and in the U.S. he directs the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Trained as an historian, he has published some fifty articles and books on American immigration history and on relations between Sweden and the U.S. He teaches courses in American history and race and ethnicity and serves as a commentator on the U.S., especially American politics, in Swedish media. The latter task currently occupies a great deal of his time.

Lauran Gilbertson holds a BA in Anthropology and an MS in Textiles & Clothing, both from Iowa State University. She was Textile Curator at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, for 19 years and is now the Chief Curator there. Among her duties are overseeing the collection of more than 30,000 artifacts, creating exhibitions and leading Textile Study Tours to Norway.

Cost: 
$45 ASI members / $50 non-members / $15 students with valid ID

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