On July 1st we opened the museum's backyard for the first time along with a new entrance. In the newly renovated, lush backyard, the topiary linden trees, espaliered fruit trees and a walnut tree make up the walls of an outdoor, urban living room.
The backyard of Nordiska museet has become a welcoming outdoor living room, enclosed by topiary linden trees, espaliered fruit trees and a walnut tree. In our backyard during summer, you will also find Café Lusknäppen, serving light meals, Swedish fika and ice cream.
In the museum’s backyard, you will find Lusknäppen, a handsome little building which, in the early years of the museum, was used to disinfect the many items destined for the collections. This was to ensure they were free of pests before they were finally included in the exhibitions, warehouses or archive.
Now, for the first time, Lusknäppen is open to the public. During summertime, we present a café where you can sit down either indoors or outdoors, to have lunch, a cup of coffee and ice cream.
In the shade of the walnut tree, someone is waiting for you – a sculpture of the museum’s very own yard dog, Sickis. Sickis was once real, originally brought here as a gift to the founder of Nordiska, Artur Hazelius. The idea was to have Sickis stuffed and mounted as part of the scenography of an exhibition. But the museum staff took such a shine to Sickis that he was spared. He became a beloved yard dog, who still served, in a way, as part of the exhibitions – although very much alive.
From the backyard, a new entrance takes you into the museum. The extension is designed by architect Lone-Pia Bach, and its artistic decoration created by Finnish artist Outi Pieski, with the work Two Directions, inspired by items from the museum’s Sámi collections.
Further inside the entrance, we’re displaying the newly acquired video work Birds in the Earth by Finnish artist Marja Helander.
The work Two Directions is designed by artist Outi Pieski and commissioned by Nordiska museet and the Public Art Agency. The Southern Saami name of the artwork is Guektien bïegkese and the Northern Saami name is Guovtte biggii. The installation ties into the building and consists of several parts in and around the new entrance. Two of these can be found along the protruding glass section of the entrance building, and on the barriers, made in different patterns in weathering steel. The patterns create a play of light and shadows which changes with the time of day and the passing of the seasons. Through Two Directions, an important part of Nordic and Sámi cultural heritage is made visible and is now making a permanent impression on the museum building.
The pattern design of Two Directions is inspired by a decorated spoon of elk antler. Within Sámi culture, the spoon is a very personal item. The carvings on the spoon, the signs and patterns are bearers of cultural heritage and identity, as well as of magic and mythology.
The backyard renovation has been undertaken as a collaboration between Bach arkitekter, Wi landskap, County administrative board, the Royal Djurgården Administration and Nordiska Museet.