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Current Exhibitions


Skål! Scandinavian Spirits

presented by Aalborg and Linie Aquavits

April 24 - October 25, 2015

Denmark, Norway and Sweden share a “spirited” tradition of enjoying beer and aquavit – sometimes together, sometimes separately.  This exhibition explores the cultural history of these beverages, follows those drinking traditions to Scandinavian-American communities, and answers questions like “What IS aquavit, anyway?” and “How do you ‘skål’ correctly?”   Fun, informative, and engaging, this exhibition will travel to Scandinavian museums across the United States between 2015 and 2017. 

This exhibition is developed in partnership with other Scandinavian-American museums, and will travel across the United States.

The national tour includes the following venues:

Museum of Danish America, Elk Horn, Iowa                          April 24 – October 25, 2015

Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle                                             Dec 11, 2015 – Feb 28, 2016

Swedish American Museum, Chicago                                     March – July 2016

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, Iowa                  August – December 31, 2016

American Swedish Historical Museum, Philadelphia           January – June 2017

American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis                                July – December 2017

Elverhoj Museum, Solvang, California                                      January 2018 – tbd 

Additional venues in negotiation


This national traveling exhibition is made possible through the generosity of:

American Swedish Historical Museum - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Albert Victor Ravenholt Fund - Seattle, Washington

The American-Scandinavian Foundation -New York, New York

Sense of Place

Photographs of the Danish Villages, by Diana Velasco

On view May 21, through 2015

"Sense of Place" is a series of photographs by Danish artist Diana Velasco of significant local places as recommended by community members through postcards. The project attempts to grasp the spirit of the community through the inhabitants’ personal tales and stories, and by displaying their attachment and belonging to different areas of the Danish Villages. This project was initiated as part of an artist-in-residency in November 2014. 

Support for this exhibition comes from the Iowa Arts Council.


Glass and Mosaics by Helle Scharling-Todd

May 23 - September 30, 2015

A Danish immigrant artist living in Ventura, California, Helle Scharling-Todd specializes in glass, mosaic, and sculpture.   





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 2015 photo exhibit is about Danish immigrants who lived for 100 years or more. For further information contact Michele at 712.764.7008 or at librarian@danishmuseum.org.







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.