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Current Exhibitions


Temporary Exhibitions


Schleswig-Holstein: Turmoil on the Danish-German Border


On view at the Museum of Danish America from February 22 through September 1, 2014

On view at the German American Heritage Center from September 27 through December 31, 2014


For centuries, the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein (in Danish, Slesvig and Holsten) have been both a bridge and a borderland between Scandinavia and continental Europe.  Located on the southern end of the Jutland peninsula, the region has been home to Danish, German, and Frisian peoples.  By the early 19th century, nationalistic tensions in Schleswig-Holstein reflected power struggles between larger European nations.  Events in this small corner of the world have re-shaped the boundaries between nations and inspired waves of both Danish- and German-speaking immigrants to the United States. 

“Schleswig-Holstein: Turmoil on the Danish-German Border” is supported by a grant from Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The views and opinions expressed by this exhibit do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Additional support for the traveling version of this exhibit is provided by the Albert V. Ravenholt Fund and the Danish Sisterhood Lodge #15 (Wisconsin). 


Søren Kierkegaard: The Global Dane 

February 1 - April 13, 2014


As a theologian, philosopher and author, Kierkegaard (1813-1855) is one of the most influential figures of the 19th century, and his influence continues to be felt around the globe.  This exhibition, prepared for the bicentennial of Kierkegaard’s birth, explores his life and work.  Whether a viewer is seeking a new introduction to Kierkegaard or renewing and old acquaintance, this exhibition encourages an understanding of both the man and his ideas.  The English-language text is by Kierkegaard scholar Joakim Garff.


At the Museum of Danish America, the exhibit is enhanced by a display of books, both old and new, in several world languages.  See volumes that influenced Kierkegaard’s life in Copenhagen.  View actual copies of his work published in his lifetime.  Follow one of his publications as it evolved for new generations and in every corner of the globe.  See a sampling of the many works about and inspired by Kierkegaard that continue his influence into the 21st century. 

After the exhibit closes in April, it will be available to communities throughout the country.  Schools, universities, libraries, churches and other organizations may host the exhibition.  Contact Tova Brandt, Albert Ravenholt Curator of Danish-American Culture, to inquire about specific dates. 



Ongoing Exhibitions


Across Oceans, Across Time®

Our permanent exhibition entitled Across Oceans, Across Time® shares the story of early Danish immigrants to the United States. Through text, photographs, and artifacts, visitors learn of the factors that influenced decisions to immigrate, the challenges they faced and their accomplishments, and the lasting legacy of those brave travelers.

The expanded portion of this exhibition opened in 2008, and brings the story to the present day. The “Redesign” begins with the occupation during World War II and shares a more contemporary side of the immigration story, still with many of the same challenges as in generations past. This portion of the exhibit features hands-on components as well as audio and video segments, in addition to artifacts from the museum’s collection.

The expansion also includes a Lego play area. Play tables act as building stations and have drawers full of all sizes, shapes, and colors of Legos. A small Lego city and train set —the perfect area to keep small children busy for hours!

Learn about the impact that Danish immigrants and their descendants had and continued to have in American society, and about the strong relationship that exists between the two countries.


Genealogy Center Exhibits

Each year the Genealogy Center displays a photo exhibit in the lobby during the summer months. The exhibits feature photographs shared by museum members as well as ones from the Genealogy Center collection.

The 2013 photo exhibit will be "Coming of Age in Denmark and the US," showcasing confirmation pictures of Danish immigrants and the first American-born generation.  We welcome submissions of photographs and stories on this theme.  For further information contact Michele at 712.764.7008 or at



Online Exhibitions

Experience the collections and stories of Danish America ONLINE!  You can explore highlights from the museum in Sampling the Collection, the newest online exhibition on this website.  Click the title to visit that page, or find it under the Online Media menu above. 



Applied Art & Technology