For centuries, alcoholic beverages have played a role in spirited Scandinavian celebrations and have inspired amazing folk art. Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, invites you to raise your glass in a skål to these traditions by visiting the exciting exhibition, “Skål! Scandinavian Sprits,” on view fromAugust 12-December 31, 2016.
Curated by the Museum of Danish America, the traveling exhibition shares the history and traditions of drinking culture in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, and how those traditions carried into the U.S. with immigrants. The exhibit focuses on beer and aquavit, the traditional flavored spirit of Scandinavia that means “the water of life.”
There will be an opening reception on September 10 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. This event includes a free public aquavit tasting with Christer Andre Olsen, from the Norwegian company Arcus, distributor of Aalborg and Linie Aquavits, and gallery talks by Tova Brandt, curator at the Museum of Danish America, who created this special exhibition. Must be 21 to attend this event.
Drinking traditions offer one way for Scandinavian Americans to connect to their heritage. Scandinavians have brewed beer for over 1,500 years. In pre-Christian times, the Norse god Odin was credited with teaching humans how to make it. In the 1500s, distilled liquor became known through Scandinavia as a medical cure-all. Early distilling efforts often produced awful flavors, so herbs and other plants were used to improve the taste—creating what is now known as aquavit.
Vesterheim’s presentation of this exhibition is sponsored by Dennis Johnson, the Edward Jones Investment Offices of Dick Cuvelier and Troy Whitehill, A&J Petersburg Agency, and Dennis Larson