Roskilde Cathedral, Denmark
Scandinavians are renowned internationally for their modern aesthetic and innovations in architecture and design. At the same time, they are passionate about preserving their past. Explore the creative contributions of noted artists, architects, and designers reflected in the region’s beautiful capitals with Karin Alexis, an independent art and architectural historian who is an expert on Scandinavian and Nordic art and culture.
9:30–10:45 a.m. Stockholm: Venice of the North
This city built on islands boasts medieval spires, elegant castles, grand baroque palaces (including the monumental Royal Palace and Drottingholm Palace), and dynamic buildings by 20th- and 21st-century architects. Examine the work of artists such as Anders Zorn, Carl Larsson, and Carl Milles in the city’s many museums. South of Stockholm, the province of Skåne is dotted with castles and manor houses, reminders of the area’s rich history.
11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Copenhagen: Queen of the North
Copenhagen is home to medieval churches, Renaissance castles, Dutch-inspired gables, baroque palaces, exquisite manor homes, and the whimsically designed Tivoli Gardens. It boasts sleek examples of midcentury Danish modern design, including home furnishings by Georg Jensen and buildings designed by Arne Jacobsen, also known for his iconic chairs.
12:15–1:15 p.m. Lunch
Participants enjoy a Nordic-themed meal.
1:15–2:30 p.m. Helsinki: Bold Spirit of the North
The Finnish affinity for architecture is evident everywhere in Helsinki, from the elegant classicism of Senate Square’s renowned cathedral to Eliel Saarinen’s art nouveau-inspired Helsinki Central railway station to Alvar Aalto’s modernist masterpiece, Finlandia Hall. Finland has also produced an array of brilliant painters, including Akseli Gallen-Kallela.
2:45–4 p.m. Oslo and Reykjavik: From Leif Erikson to Modernism
Oslo, set against a backdrop of mountains and woodlands, is known for its Viking Ship Museum; the Munch Museum, dedicated to expressionist painter; and Vigeland Park, filled with more than 200 figurative sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. The capital is also home to the Hallgrímskirkja church, a 1937 expressionist design reminiscent of a glacier; the award-winning, strikingly modern Harpa Concert Hall; and the Einar Jónsson Museum and Sculpture Garden. Iceland, now one of the most popular tourist destinations, is notable for dramatic waterfalls and scenery. The capital, Reykjavik, is enlivened by its captivating art deco-inspired cathedral on the highest point of the city, and enriched by the works of talented artists, including Thorlaksson and Sveinsson.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit*
*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)