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10 Oct 2019 – Ongoing

45-90 min

Audio guide

Family mission

The Great hall

In the bright light of the North Star, where meridians come together and time zones come to an end. This is where the Arctic begins, home to four million people. For thousands of years, people here have lived with the ice.

Ingång till utställningen som ser ut som ett isberg med en stor spricka, det lyser ett blått sken från den
Photo: Hendrik Zeitler / Nordiska museet

Experience Life in a Changing World

Nordiska museet’s Great Hall has been given over to the life and changing conditions of the Arctic region. In The Arctic – While the Ice Is Melting, you encounter the history and the future of the ice, and above all the people who live in the Arctic today – through objects, photos, design, artwork, films and projections. You can also discover Sami objects in an Arctic and Nordic context.

A Walk Through an Iceberg

The central element of the exhibition is a mock-up of a giant iceberg with a deep rift between past and present, created in cooperation with the design-duo MUSEEA.
As a visitor, you can walk into the iceberg and through the rift, where you will encounter narratives and objects linking the present to the past, connecting science to mythology, and presenting a multi-faceted, poetic story about the past and future of the ice and the daily lives of people in the Arctic.

Meet People from the Arctic

The exhibition includes ten documentary films in which you meet people from various places in the Arctic: Qaanaaq in Greenland, Vatnajökull in Iceland, Näätämö (Neidenelva in norwegian) in Finland, Svalbard in Norway, and Abisko, Arjeplog, Laevas and Nautanen in Sweden. The exhibition also covers Arctic locations to the east and west: Clyde River in Canada and Yamal in Russia. Most of the films were produced by Nordiska museet together with documentary filmmaker Camilla Andersen, with support from the Nordic Culture Fund.

Naturvy från Island med ett vitt bostadshus i mitten på grön barmark, i bakgrunden frusen havsvik och högt berg
Photo: Camilla Andersen / Nordiska museet

Explore Living with the Ice

The exhibition space is arranged by theme. In different themed sections, you can learn more about what the Arctic is, how climate change is affecting the region, the resources the Arctic has to offer, and how people have lived, travelled and dressed in the Arctic through the years.

You can also learn about the relationship between human and ice. What has it been like through the ages, and what is it like today – while the ice is melting? At an interactive station in the Great Hall, you can make a climate pledge to your future self.

Make your climate pledge

Based Upon Three Years of Research

The exhibition is based upon three years of preparatory work under the leadership of Lotten Gustafsson Reinius, dividing her time as a Hallwyl visiting professor between Stockholm University and Nordiska museet.

Besides the exhibition, the project has resulted in a multidisciplinary anthology entitled Arctic Traces: Nature and Culture in Motion, published by Nordiska museet in the spring of 2020.


1. Sami Silver Collar

Standing collar with pewter thread embroidery. Pendants of parcel-gilt silver. The silver collar was worn by Sami women at weddings and on other ceremonial occasions.

Sweden, Lapland. Acquired by NM 1903. NM.0096618

Krage som sitter på ett blått tyg med röd kant och guldfärgade broderier, framtill helt klädd med silverhängen i olika former
Photo: Peter Segemark / Nordiska museet

2. Parka With Protective Amulets

This parka of reindeer skin belonged to a boy named Norquat from Netsilingmiut, Canada, in the early 20th century. Affixed to the jacket are amulets for good hunting and protection against accidents.

Collected 1924, Knud Rasmussen’s 5th Thule expedition. On loan from the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. P29.499.

Liten jacka med luva i ljusbrunt skinn kantad med hermelinpäls, fäst på detaljer av bland annat sälben, rävtänder och varghår
Photo: Copenhagen National Museum

3. Amaat From Greenland

Amaat of sealskin, parkas for woman with hood with leather embroidery, edges decorated with marten fur and glass beads. An important functional feature of a woman’s amaat is the specially designed hood. In it, the woman can carry a baby or even a small child.

Greenland. Aquired by NM 1879. On loan from the Swedish National Museums of World Culture 1933.25.0032.

Jacka i mörk päls med ljusare kanter och broderade röda band och fransar med glaspärlor i olika färger
Photo: Etnografiska museet