From the age of the Vikings to the settlers of the New Sweden Colony (1638-1655), to contemporary issues in Scandinavian society, the American Swedish Historical Museum will take you back in time and across the sea to learn the stories of Swedes in America.

Past Exhibitions

Did you know that a Swedish-American engineered the first American motorcycle? It happened in 1901 when Carl Oscar Hedstrom (1871-1960), a Swedish immigrant and machinist, and George Hendee (1866-1943), an American bicycle racer and builder, founded the “Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company”.

When a red-haired, horse-lifting, freckle-faced, nine-year-old girl leapt from the pages of Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Långstrump) in 1945, she quickly made her way into the hearts of children and adults throughout Sweden. Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002), Pippi’s creator, once said that she wrote for her own inner child, which perhaps speaks to Pippi’s success.

Austrian-born designer and architect Josef Frank (1885–1967) was a leading pioneer of Swedish Modern design, and many of Frank’s timeless textile designs and furnishings remain in production today.
In honor the 75th anniversary of the ASHM’s 1938 dedication, visitors found throughout the galleries a selection of images from the building’s archives and historic photograph collection.
"Art by SIGELLE" was an exhibition of multimedia artworks by Sigelle Oldenburg (1900-1984). Born in Stockholm as Sigrid Elisabeth Lindforss, Sigelle was a trained opera singer, music teacher, mother, and artist who regularly created vibrant works of color and collage.
Beauty, comfort, entertainment, and style. From 1915— 1975, the Swedish American Line (SAL) offered its passengers all of this and more. From its early days as a passenger fleet for immigrants to its lavish “Around the World” cruises of the 1960s, SAL played an important role in connecting Scandinavia and America.
Knitting Along the Viking Trail presents the work of Scandinavian artist Elsebeth Lavold. Lavold has received worldwide recognition for her knitwear designs. She is best known for her Viking Knits Project, which she started in 1992 and she is the only Scandinavian knitwear designer with her own yarn label, called Elsebeth Lavold Designer’s Choice.
This exhibition explored Swedish food traditions and the dynamic role of food in Sweden and Swedish-American culture. Visitors discovered which foods are characteristic of different regions in Sweden, and learned how Swedish cuisine has changed over time because of trade and modernization.