The first exhibition of its kind in San Diego, it celebrated 100 years of Norwegian independence. The exhibition featured arts of daily life including metalwork, jewelry, festival costumes (bunads), textiles, rosemaling (decorated pottery and furniture), and a group of Norwegian-American immigrant chests from the 18th century. A substantial group of objects were on loan from the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. Many others were from private San Diego collections.
Audrey Geisel was the Exhibition Benefactor. Sponsors were Esther J. Burnham, Ron and Mary Taylor, Charlotte W. Nielsen, the Norwegian-American Foundation, Virginia Napierskie and the Sons of Norway. The exhibition was funded in part by The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and The County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program.
Anne Lise Gustavsen presented a demonstration of traditional embroidery techniques in the exhibition gallery on October 23, 2005.
Professor Emeritus Oddvar Høidal presented an illustrated lecture, A Panorama of Norwegian History, on November 14, 2005.
The exhibition finale was A Norwegian Festival on April 1 and 2, 2006. On Saturday, April 1 illustrated lectures by Janet Blohm Pultz, Director of the Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum in Decorah, Iowa (True Colors: Folk Art as an Expression of Ethnic Identity) and Bernt Erik Nilsen (Norwegian Churches of the Viking Age) were presented. Also on the program that day were a Bunad Parade with commentary by Anne Kløvnes Høidal, author ofBunads in America, The Scandia Dancers Performance Group, Los Angeles and a concert by a trio of folk musicians from Norway—Steinar Ofsdal (sea flute), Gjermund Larsen (fiddle) and Einar Olav Larsen (fiddle). Artist craftsmen demonstrations of rosemaling (Lene Skaar) and traditional Norwegian weaving (Lizzie Riiber) were presented in the exhibition area.
A Henrik Ibsen Dinner took place on the evening of April 1 with a menu inspired by the Grand Café, where Ibsen ate every day in his later years. A dramatic presentation of excerpts fromPeer Gynt was given by Peter Larlham ( School of Theater , Film and Television, SDSU). The Norwegian trio played again.
On Sunday, April 2, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway presented an illustrated lecture, then read from and signed copes of her children’s book, Why Kings and Queens Don’t Wear Crowns.
An intimate exhibition in the Museum’s Theater Gallery featuring a selection of shadow puppets from Indonesia.
Recycled and Embroidered Textiles of Bengal
Featuring approximately 40 kantha (decorative stitched quilting made from recycled sari) from the Museum's permanent collection.