On going at Gustavianum

The planning of a new archaelogical exhibition at Gustavianum

Hi Franziska Lichenstein! You are a doctoral student at Göttingen University and at the same time involved in the production of a new archaeological exhibition at Gustavianum. How did that come about?
I am a doctoral student in a research group in Göttingen that investigates exhibitions from a history of science perspective. We also try to integrate a practical point of view in our dissertations, in addition to theory and our respective research topics. This makes it possible to understand processes within the various departments and how an exhibition is created. In my doctoral project I am investigating archaeological exhibitions about the Viking Period.

What do you think of Gustavianum's archeological collections?
They are really impressive! As a literary scholar, I have previously mostly been involved with texts, so getting in touch with the material culture is actually still something special for me.

What do you think is the most interesting object?
It is difficult to choose. But an object that I find particularly fascinating is a brooch with a female figure carrying a kind of drinking horn. The brooch was found in the boat grave of an elderly woman in Old Uppsala and will probably be exhibited in the new archeological exhibition at Gustavianum. Some researchers interpret the object in the light of Nordic poetry from the Middle Ages, which tells of mythological female figures. But even if you disregard that, it is interesting that there was, even then, a girl with a drink!

New signs for the Humanities Theatre

Rebecca Flodin, Curator at Gustavianum! Could you tell me what you are doing at the Humanities Theatre?
Uppsala University owns a significant collection of sculptures in the form of plaster casts. Some of these sculptures were put on display in the Humanities Theatre when it first opened. Until now they have been without information boards, but we have finally been able to add these!

Can you tell us a little more about the sculptures and how they came into Uppsala University’s possession?
The plaster cast collection was acquired by the University largely during the 19th century. At that time the sculptures served mainly as models for the teaching of drawing. The collection includes about 300 plaster sculptures; in addition to casts of works from classical antiquity, there are also busts and medallions of royalty, scientists and other famous people.

Who should I contact to book or visit the Humanities Theatre?
Visit our website for the Humanities Theatre for more information! 

The Vikings Begin continues on to Montana

Hi, Emma Hocker, Senior Conservator at Gustavianum! Is it true that you will soon be travelling to Montana to set up Gustavianum’s travelling exhibition The Vikings Begin?
– That’s the plan! But I need to follow all the restrictions and recommendations for the trip to the USA, such as a negative Covid test within 48 hours of departure and observing all the safety precautions, including wearing a face mask for the whole journey. Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the flight actually departs, as there have been quite a lot of cancelled flights. I would prefer to be there to take care of the valuable objects, but if that’s not possible we have a plan B, which involves Zoom and a late evening for me!

What sort of reception has the exhibition received in the USA?
– There is a strong interest in everything that has to do with the Vikings, due to the multitude of TV series and documentaries that have been screened recently – not least The Dig, the recent film about an excavation at Sutton Hoo in England in the 1930s of a boat grave from the same period as those found at Valsgärde. At the last venue, The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, the visitor figures were the best ever for an external exhibition, so hopefully that trend will continue. Vaccination in the USA has gone well, so one can hope that the public will be eager to visit museums again.

Are there further stops planned after Montana?
– We have recently agreed that the exhibition will be shown at The History Museum in Mobile, Alabama between October 2021 and June 2022, before its return to Sweden. It is very exciting and we can say with pride that the vikings have conquered USA’s east, west and now also south coasts.

Digital seminars about objects in Gustavianum's collection store

Hi, Greger Sundin, curator at Gustavianum! Is it true that university institutions can book digital seminars about objects in Gustavianum's collection store?
– Absolutely! While physical visits are not possible, we can still hold seminars about the objects in collections that are held in our various stores and study areas. We have had to adapt to what is possible digitally, but much of the object-based study we do can be successfully communicated remotely.

How does such an approach work?
– To a large degree, we can adapt to the needs of the teacher, but otherwise we have a number of approaches that we know work well. This can involve streaming audio / video over zoom (using, among other things, movable cameras), featuring objects selected for relevance to the theme of the seminar. It is also possible to prepare filmed material in advance in cases where streaming is not suitable. 

Who should I contact for more information?
– You can contact artcollections@gustavianum.uu.semyntkabinettet@gustavianum.uu.se or  historiccollections@gustavianum.uu.se to find out more.

Easter egg orientation March 29 - April 5

With the help of a map and a little ingenuity, you will find your way to the answer. The university's museums invite you to an educational and intriguing tour between the Tropical Greenhouse and the Museum of Evolution. Start from the Tropical Greenhouse entrance and get around using your smartphone. The orientation is open 24 hours a day from 11.00 on March 29, until 16.00 on 5 April. For you between 5-12 years. In collaboration with: the Museum of Evolution and Gustavianum. 

The questions are in Swedish.

Easter egg

Finds from the antiquity - a ceramics exercise at SciFest

SciFest 2021 went digital, and Gustavianum was of course participating. Read more about the event on Scifest website.

On March 8, a class from Rosendalsgymnasiet in Uppsala participated in a workshop arranged by the Department of Archeology and Ancient History as well as Gustavianum at Uppsala University.

Since this year's science festival went digital, the exercise had to be carried out remotely. The responsible teacher from Rosendalsgymnasiet, Calle Håkansson, retrieved in advance a study material consisting of ceramic fragments from the stone and bronze ages in the Aegean area. On site in the classroom, the students had to examine the ceramics in pairs and try to think about what they may have been used for. University lecturer Michael Lindblom supervised the class digitally.

The students thought it was exciting to handle such old objects and they took on the task with intrest. Michael Lindblom explained in both an easy-to-understand and interesting was.

SciFest 1663

In this year's digital SciFest, Gustavianum also participated with the interactive workshop SciFest 1663. Classes from all over Sweden had the opportunity to witness what dissections in the anatomical theater could have looked like in the year 1663. The students' own anatomy skills were also put to the test when they could draw how they think that a human heart looks like and that with the help of the strings they estimated how long our intestines really are.

Activities during 2020

A new Vice-Chancellor portrait for Uppsala University

The university's art collection contains a large number of portraits. Here, older eras unite with our own time and the collection thereby manifests a continuity throughout history. In December 2020, the univeristies former vice-chancellor Eva Åkesson was thanked. In connection with this, her portrait, made by Olle Hamngren (b.1960), was unveiled.

Olle Hamngren, Porträtt av Eva Åkesson, 2020, olja på duk (UU 3549)
Olle Hamngren, portrait of Eva Åkesson, 2020, oil on canvas (UU 3549)

Följ med på ett besök i konstnärens ateljé och lyssna på ett samtal om tillkomsten av Eva Åkessons porträtt.

Digitalt firande av Drottning Kristinas födelsedag

I samarbetet med Christina-Akademin, Livrustkammaren och flera andra kulturinstitutioner runt om i Sverige anordnas ett digitalt firande av Drottning Kristinas födelsedag den 8 december. Hör museichef Mikael Ahlund och 1:e antikvarie Ragnar Hedlund berätta mer om  kopplingar till Drottning Kristina i Uppsala universitets konstsamlingar och myntkabinett.

Från värdefulla gåvor till universitetet och hovets flytt under pesten, till raka gator och abdikering i Rikssalen på Uppsala slott. Drottning Kristinas historia är även Uppsalas historia. Hör Uppsalas ciceron John Ringh berätta mer!

Kulturnatten Uppsala 2020

Kulturnatten 2020 med tema Gömt men inte glömt hos Evolutionsmuseet och Gustavianum. Följ med intendenterna på en digital rundtur in i föremålsmagasinen och hör dem berätta om några unika föremål.

Få ett smakprov på vad som händer

Följ med in hos glaskonservatorn och se hur Gustavianums unika medeltida glasfönster konserveras.

Gustavianum is closed for renovation

The renovation will, above all, improve the environmental conditions for exhibited objects, as well as increase the total area of exhibition space. The renovation work is being conducted by Sweden´s National Property Board, in close collaboration with Uppsala University. The work is estimated to be completed until autumn 2023. 

Gustavianum is itself a unique building of a major historical significance that must be treated with great care. The building including the Anatomical Theatre, will not be altered. The careful renovation will instead focus on improving the existing building´s ability to function as a museum, where the collections can be better preserved for the future. When the doors re-open, the visitors will experience a unique university museum of world class.

Last modified: 2021-10-19