Come into a New World: Linnaeus & America
February 15 - July 1, 2007

Carolus Linnaeus

Join the American Swedish Historical Museum to celebrate the 300th birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, the great Swedish naturalist who founded modern biology and named us all Homo sapiens. Through specimens, drawings, letters, books, and etchings, this exhibition explores the many links between Linnaeus and America. It follows his student Pehr Kalm, the first trained scientist to observe North American's peoples, wildlife, and landscapes from the Delaware Valley to Canada. It presents how Franklin and Jefferson made connections between natural history and national identity -- and why Linnaean ideas still matter to Americans today.
Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778)
Image from the collection of the
American Swedish Historical Museum
Opening Event

Come into a New World, Linnaeus & America
Free Exhibition opening Thursday, February 15, 6 - 8 pm

Click here to open your invitation to the exhibition opening>>

Special Panel Discussion, 7:15 pm "Why Linnaeus Matters Today".

The panel includes:

  • Dr. Joseph Lorenz, Coriell Institute for Medical Research, Camden, New Jersey, who uses molecular biology to study the evolution of primates.
  • Dr. A. E. Schuyler, Curator Emeritus, Lewis & Clark Herbarium, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. This spring, Dr. Schuyler, an expert on American botany, is teaching a course on the history of botany at the Wagner Free Institute of Science, Philadelphia.
  • The guest curator, Dr. Karen Reeds, an independent scholar living in Princeton. Dr. Reeds is a Visiting Scholar, History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, and member of the Princeton Research Forum; formerly, she served as the science medicine editor at Rutgers University Press and the University of California Press. Her four books and her exhibitions deal with the history of biology and medicine from the Middle Ages to our own time.

International Linnaeus Tercentenary Celebration

Official Linnaeus Tercentenary Logo

To find out more about the international celebration click the following image of Linnaeus.


Come into a New World: Linnaeus & America is an approved project of the official 2007 Linnaeus Tercentenary Celebration.
Program Highlights

February 24 & 25: Performance piece, The Order of Things by Robin Rimbaud, "The Scanner" at Wagner Free Institute of Science
Sound and visual installation piece pays tribute to Linnaeus. Wagner opens 2-5 pm, with installation on view at 3 pm. Reception both days, 4-5 pm. Tickets $30 adults, $10 students and seniors (65 and over). Find out more at>>

March 25: Swedish Discovery Day at Longwood Gardens
Full Day of family fun with performances and hands-on activities related to Swedish culture and horticulture. More info at

March 31: An Evening with Linnaeus
Get to know the "Father of Modern Biology" first hand with this engaging performance by Linnaeus reenactor Hans Odöö.

May 6: Linnaeus Day at ASHM
Celebrate Linnaeus's birthday with family crafts, nature walk, scavenger hunt and of course --birthday cake!

October 13: New Sweden History Conference
Carl Linnaeus, Pehr Kalm, and The Early American Scientific Community
Seventh Annual New Sweden History Conference with scholars commemorating Linnaeus's 300th birthday at Trinity Episcopal (Old Swedes') Church, Swedesboro, New Jersey. Click here for more info >>

School Program

Image from Pehr Kalm's
Travels into North America
from the collection of the
American Swedish Historical Museum

That's Classified
In this program designed for grades 3-6, school, scout and camp groups will discover how Linnaeus changed the way we learn about plants and animals. Indoors at ASHM students will engage in hands-on activities in Come into a New World: Linnaeus & America. Outdoors, children will explore surrounding FDR park in a quest to collect and classify plant specimens native to the Delaware Valley, just like Linnaeus's student Pehr Kalm.

Available by reservation from April 1 - June 30. Call 215-389-1776.


Read Press Release for Come into a New World: Linnaeus & America>>

Read Press Release for exhibition opening & panel discussion>>


Planning for Come into a New World: Linnaeus & America was supported by a "We the People" Consultation Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibition has been funded by generous gifts from Astra Zeneca, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Robert Savage, SWEA New Jersey, and The Swedish Council of America.

Photograph credits
Copyright © American Swedish Historical Museum. All rights reserved