Stockholm, Sweden is known for its beauty and history. The city’s best known site is probably the three golden crowns which sit atop the Stadshuset. Since 1901, the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony is held in the Stadshuset’s main banquet hall amid an 18 million-piece golden mosaic.
The museums of Stockholm are vast and diverse. Museums are housed in historic houses, contemporary architectural marvels, and even in the subway. Art in the subway is an underground art exhibit. The Stockholm subway system is known as the world’s longest art exhibition running 110 kilometers. There was a competition in 1950 to decorate the individual stations; this continues today.
The museum with the distinction of being the most-visited museum in all of Sweden is the Moderna Museet. The Moderna Museet (Modern museum) has an extensive collection of modern Swedish art and pieces by international artists. The collection includes Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes, Constantin Brancusi’s The Newborn, Robert Rauschenberg’s Monogram, Marc Chagall’s The Old Man and the Goat, and Pablo Picasso’s Spring. The museum opened in 1958 and today, the collection is housed in a new building designed by Rafael Moneo, opened in 1998. It is situated on the island of Skeppsholmen in downtown Stockholm and the museum is further enhanced by a public sculpture garden featuring Alexander Calder’s The Four Elements and Picasso’s le Dejeuner sur l’herbe.
The Dansmuseet (dance museum) is located in close proximity to the Royal Opera House and the Royal Palace at Gustav Adolfs torg. It is the world’s first museum and research institute for dance. The museum debuted in 1953 and highlights the history of dance from the ancient times to the present day. Costumes, masks, art, prints, posters, books, and documents relating to dance in all of its forms make up the stunning collections of the museum. Costumes from the Russian ballet, prints of the American colonial minuet dancers and images of Japanese Kabuki theatre players are among the museum’s rare objects.
One of the most popular museums with tourists and residents alike is the Vasa museum. Located on the island of Djurgarden in Stockholm, the Vasa museum focuses on the events surrounding King Gustav Adolf’s mighty naval ship, the Vasa. On her maiden voyage in August of 1628, the ship went down. It was salvaged after 333 years on the bottom of Stockholm’s Strom and it is now renowned as the world’s only preserved 17th century ship.
The ship is adorned with 700 carvings and an art treasury documenting the time period. The Vasa was brought onto dry land in 1951 and the ship has survived as a centerpiece of museum ever since. It is one of Sweden’s most recognizable archeological assets.
The ship has surprisingly survived with some, but not extensive, restoration. Why didn’t the Vasa need more attention? The Vasa’s preserved state is thanks to the pollution that accumulated around the ship and the heavy sludge that was nearly devoid of oxygen so nothing could survive to destroy the ship. To date, the Vasa has been viewed by more than 30 million tourists. This year, a new building to accommodate the museum’s nearly 1 million annual visitors will be completed with special temperature and humidity controls to insure the historic Vasa’s preserved state.
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