Swedish Dads
SPRING-SUMMER | April, 2021 - end July, 2021

With one of the most generous parental leave systems in the world, Sweden has made strides in gender equality among stay-at-home parents, but many fathers still don’t take full advantage of the system. Photographer Johan Bävman has turned his lens on Swedish dads in hopes of sharing and encouraging both Swedish dads and the global community to examine the father-child bond.


Swedish Dads focuses on the men who have chosen to stay home with their children for more than six months. Bävman has captured the moments—intimate, domestic, mundane, sweet, chaotic—that form the day for parents of young children. Through a selection of fifteen portraits and quotes from the father themselves, Swedish Dads shares an unusual domestic snapshot while simultaneously questioning why this scene is still surprising in the twenty-first century.


Says photographer Bävman “There are two aims to this project. The first is to describe the background to Sweden’s unique parental allowance. The second is to inspire other fathers—in Sweden, and further afield—to consider the positive benefits of such a system.”


Johan Bävman (b. 1982) combines his own long-term projects with freelance assignments from different clients worldwide. He has previously published the photo book Albino – In the shadow of the sun (2009). The project Swedish Dads has had a tremendous impact and has been published/shared widely all over the world.


Between the years 2008 and 2011, Johan Bävman worked as a staff photographer at Sydsvenskan, one of the largest newspapers in Sweden. He graduated from Nordens Fotoskola, Stockholm 2007. He was previously a member of Moment Agency (2007–2015). Johan Bävman has won several awards, including the World Press Photo, POY, Sony Award, NPPA, UNICEF Photo Award.

ScanFair Holiday Exhibit 
WINTER | November through February

For so many of us, ScanFair signifies the beginning of our holiday celebrations. It’s a place to meet new and old friends, find the perfect Nordic Christmas gifts, stock up on yummy baked goods, and take in the sights, sounds and tastes of a Nordic Christmas. It’s no wonder our beloved event has grown to an attendance of almost 7,000 in recent years. Even though we can’t experience ScanFair together this year we hope you feel ScanFair through the new features we’re offering this year.

MIND THE EARTH: Climate Change - Climate Action 
SPRING-FALL | January 2019 through November 2020


MIND THE EARTH uses satellite imagery to share new vantage points about the global climate crisis. The exhibition focuses on challenges and international best practices to provoke action at all levels of society regarding the way we use our planet’s shared and finite resources.


The exhibition was created by Danish artist and architect Kasper Brejnholt Bak with the Danish Architecture Center and additional research partners. For more information, see http://mindtheearth.org/.


Celebrating Nordic Winter Traditions
WINTER | December 2019 through January 2020

God Jul! is our Christmas invitation to you. Join us and get to know a handful of unique Nordic winter holiday traditions from Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Local members of the Nordic Northwest community selected each tradition and their lived experience provides a deeper context for how the tradition plays out in contemporary society.

By Joel Henriques

SUMMER-FALL | July through October 2019

Joel Henriques is the artist, father, and writer behind the blog Made by Joel and book Made to Play! After receiving a B.A. in Fine Art in 1997, he has since had many shows in Portland and California, and is often featured on art and design blogs from all over the world. his painting style evokes his family's Nordic background. With a strong focus on design, he uses whimsical line work and bold color to create images that are captivating and playful. Joel has also created illustrations and art projects for kids by collaborating with many companies, including Disney, and the Portland Art Museum. This summer we feature the whimsical art of Joel Henriques, focusing on his oeuvre of toys, craft, and fine art. His work explores the connection between visual and emotional responses to playful, positive, functional design and how it helps us live more joyfully artful lives. 


SPRING | April through July 2019

Between 1850 and 1949, only Canada and Germany surpassed Sweden in Oregon’s foreign-born population:  by 1930, one in ten immigrants in Oregon was a Swede. Who were these intrepid émigrés who not only crossed the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in America but also traversed the North American continent to settle in Oregon? “From Sweden to Oregon: the immigrant experience 1850-1950” is an exhibition that follows the Swedish immigrants to Oregon and reveals what became of their lives, hopes, and dreams. Complemented by a series of public events and programs, this exhibit is funded in part by grants from the Swedish Council of America and the Cultural Coalition of Washington County, as well as generous donations from Swedish Society Linnea, Harmoni Lodge #472, and the New Sweden Cultural Heritage Society.


WINTER | January through March 2019

This display is a traveling exhibit from The Museum of Danish America coming to Nordic Northwest! The exhibit is all about the Danish concept of “Hygge.” What is Hygge? It’s a word that means cozy, comfortable, happy, content, and warm. Hygge is a true value in Danish culture and you’ll find it all over in homes, design concepts, clothing, and so much more. While hygge is a year-round concept, it truly shines in the winter with warm fires, cozy socks, and comfy blankets. That’s why we’re highlighting it this winter season. Stop by Nordic Northwest to see the pop-up posters from The Museum of Danish America and come sit in our hygge corner! We’ll set up a comfy space where you can sip Water Avenue’s Broder Blend coffee, get cozy with some comfy couch pillows, and add your personal touch to our Nordic Northwest knitting/crochet hygge project!


FALL | September through November 2018

Experience the world of 19th-century ballet-master August Bournonville with the exhibit Bournonville: The European! A premier choreographer who shaped the world of ballet, Bournonville’s compositions highlighted the Nordic history and mythology, allegorical classical mythology, and exploration of the exotic. His choreography was notably egalitarian for the era, emphasizing male as well as female roles. This exhibit is edited by Knud Arne Jürgensen and generously sponsored by Scan|Design Foundation and Mike and Arlette Nelson.

Made by Joel

SUMMER | July through September 2018

Experience the paintings of local artist and designer Joel Henriques at Nordia House this summer! Joel has devoted himself to making arts and crafts both accessible and meaningful, and he has created original paintings and crafts to celebrate the Nordic countries and aesthetic. Featuring takeaway papercrafts to delight all those young at heart!

Beyond the Doors

SPRING | April through July 2018

This exhibit is generously sponsored by in part by Carol Tripp, Tommy Griffin, and Brooklyn Hardware Company. Special thanks to Monica Setziol-Phillips. Feature photos from the private collection of Melissa Mills & Doug Tunnells.

Nordic Northwest, then known as the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, approached Leroy Setziol in 2004 to design the front doors of their future cultural center Nordia House. At 88 years old and in failing health, Setziol did not feel as though he would be able to take on such a large project. His daughter Monica Setziol-Phillips suggested a collaboration, with Setziol designing the doors and Setziol-Phillips carving them. Setziol laid out the basic structure of the panels’ unifying design: diagonal lines ending in birch branches. Setziol-Phillips identified suitable Nordic designs and determined with Setziol where to place them on the doors. The results were magnificent Alaska yellow cedar doors that are the artistic focal point of the building.


In honor of these two renowned Northwest artists, will feature works by both Leroy Setziol and Monica Setziol-Phillips. Drawn from private collections across Oregon, these works of art represent decades of two of the Northwest's finest woodcarvers honing their craft.

To Me There's No Other Choice

WINTER | January through March 2018

Learn the story behind the Swedish diplomat who single-handedly saved thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during World War II with our new exhibit, Raoul Wallenberg: To Me, There’s No Other Choice. By issuing protective passports and buying buildings to establish as sovereign Swedish territory in Budapest, Wallenberg was able to shelter Jews during 1944 and save an estimated 15,000 lives in just six months. His life and legacy stand as a testament to moral courage and fortitude, especially in the tragedy of his ending: arrested by the Soviets during the Red Siege of Budapest, he disappeared and was never seen again. The exhibit, which comes to us from the Swedish Institute in Stockholm, will be free and open to the public.


This exhibit is generously sponsored by Barry Peterson & Darlene Peterson and ePrint Services, with additional support from the Swedish Institute.

Oregon's Nordic Ski History

FALL | September through December 2017

Learn about the history of Nordic skiing, from its roots in Scandinavia to its prominence in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest! Includes reproductions of both historical and contemporary ski equipment.​


Sponsored by: Hans and Nancy Sohlstrom

Partners in the Polar Regions

SUMMER | June through September 2017

This exhibit focuses on joint expeditions to both the Arctic and the Antarctic from the late-1800s to the mid-1900s. Featuring large-scale informational panels and photographs, Partners in the Polar Regions bridges historical exploration efforts with contemporary scientific research in the Arctic and Antarctic.


This is a Fram Museum exhibition, Courtesy of the Royal Norwegian Embassy. ​


Sponsored by: Fjällräven

The Photographic Works of Jari Jetsonen & Inka Juslin

SPRING | March through June 2017

MY PARADISE: A Hundred Years of Finnish Architects' Summer Homes is a Nordic architectural and video exhibit by photographer Jari Jetsonen & architect Sirkkaliisa Jetsonen. The work focuses on the summer villas of famous Finnish architects throughout the 20th century. It will be paired with the exhibit Saari / Island, which features the mixed media and photographic works of Finnish artist Inka Juslin. Her paintings and photography focus on climate change, Nordic mythology and art-historical symbolism. ​


MY PARADISE: A Hundred Years of Finnish Architects’ Summer Homes was organized in collaboration with the Museum of Finnish Architecture, the Alvar Aalto Museum and The National Council for Architecture.


MY PARADISE was generously sponsored by Andersen Construction (builders of Nordia House) and ePrint Services with additional support from Di Loreto Architecture (designers of Nordia House). Additional thanks for Portland Design Week; this exhibit was included in Nordia House's first ever Design Week collaboration.

The Painted Works

WINTER | February through March 2017

This exhibit celebrates the art of Gert Mathiesen (1951-2013), who spent half his life in Denmark and half in the U.S. He was a prolific artist in a variety of different media and left an extensive body of work of over one thousand paintings. The exhibitions includes a small selection of his art: 25 representatives pieces. Mathiesen’s work has been exhibited and sold worldwide including in the U.S., Europe and Scandinavia. ​Using linoleum, woodcut, paint and monoprinting, Mathiesen created expressive works of art. Mathiesen’s art reflects his life: always maintaining references to his Viking roots and Danish heritage. His expressionistic vocabulary expanded and grew to embrace many different cultures and his appeal is universal.


This exhibit comes to us from the Museum of Danish America and is made possible by the generous support of the Scan|Design Foundation.

The Woodblock Prints of Betsy Bowen

Winter | December 2016 through January 2017

As tall as trees and as ancient and rugged as the Nordic landscape from which they come, trolls are some of lore's most fascinating and varied creatures. Featuring original woodblock prints from Betsy Bowen, troll dolls and figures on loan from some of our members and stories by author and folklorist Lise Lunge-Larsen.

Sami Artifacts & The Photography of Erika Larsen

FALL | September through November 2016

Learn about the Sami (the native peoples of Northern Scandinavia) with Journey of the Reindeer, a multi-month program series consisting of two simultaneous exhibits and ancillary programming.


The first exhibit, The Sami Reindeer People Of Alaska, comes to us from the Sami Cultural Center of North America and is curated by Marlene Wisuri, Nathan Muus, Ruthanne Cecil and Faith Fjeld. It describes the journey of Sami reindeer herders in the 1890s from Sápmi (the Sami homeland) to Alaska to teach the Alaska Natives reindeer herding skills.


The second exhibit, Sami: Walking with Reindeer, also comes to us from the Sami Cultural Center of North America and features the work of award-winning photographer Erika Larsen, who spent a significant time in Sápmi documenting the contemporary Sami existence. Ancillary programming will include film screenings, panel discussions about indigenous rights in Scandinavia and America, lectures on the Sami experience and more. ​


Special thanks to the Sami Cultural Center of North America. Sponsored in part by the Regional Arts and Culture Council of Portland and the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

The Life & Legacy of Joe Hill

SUMMER | August through September 2016


Just in time for Labor Day, NNW presents an exhibit and associated programs celebrating the contributions of Joel Emmanuel Hägglund. His early 20th century arrival in the U.S. coincided with one of the most turbulent times in the American labor movement and through his activism, songwriting and cartoons, he became a legend for those who followed.


Though he arrived in the U.S. in 1905 and only lived here for ten years, his impact continues to be felt today. He was executed in 1915 by the State of Utah for a double murder in Salt Lake City (though most today believe he was framed for the crime) and he quickly became a martyr for the cause of organized labor. His songs, cartoons and letters, as well as tributes to him, galvanized striking workers throughout the 20th century. Now, 100 years after his death, Hill’s life and work still inspire, both in this country and Scandinavia where he is also honored for his commitment to workers’ rights.

Sponsored in part by the Swedish Council of America.

The Art of Leif Karsten Dahlen

SUMMER | June through July 2016

This collection of 20 paintings by artist Leif Karsten Dahlen has been exhibited around Norway and comes to Nordia House from Dalen’s local Pacific Northwest relative. His work has also been shown in California and Nebraska in recent years. The paintings depict Norwegian landscapes and are done in oil and acrylic.

The Sibelius Jubilee

SPRING | April through May 2016


Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Jean Sibelius, this exhibit, created and produced by a Finnish writer, editor and member of the Finnish Government’s Sibelius Jubilee Working Committee, Pekka Hako, consists of 13 elegant color banners.


The banners show historic photos of Sibelius, his family and colleagues. All the texts exhibited in the US are in English. Accompanying is an approximately 6-minute documentary compilation from 1927 and 1945 on Sibelius and his family. This exhibit has been commissioned all around the world. In Berlin, Germany, where all 7 Symphonies were performed earlier this year, the exhibit was on display for the entire month before, during and after the performances

The 100th Anniversary of Ingrid Bergman's Birth

SPRING | March through April 2016

August 29, 2015 marked the 100th anniversary of Ingrid Bergman’s birth, an occasion the Embassy of Sweden will observe by celebrating her life and legacy throughout the fall with exhibitions and events. Through amazing photographs, this exhibition covers the first years in the life of Sweden’s greatest actress and shows how she transformed from a shy orphan girl into a skilled and confident actress. The exhibit also tells of her return to Sweden to finish her magnificent movie career with a Swedish masterpiece.


Curated and produced by the Swedish Film Institute and coming to us from the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C., the exhibit details the actress' early Swedish roots leading up to her Hollywood stardom.

Pacific Lutheran University at 125

WINTER | January through February 2016

Scandinavian immigrants to North America brought with them the core values of their home countries, including a deep appreciation for education. The Lutherans founded many centers of learning, including Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. In celebration of PLU’s 125th anniversary, the university’s Scandinavian Cultural Center has created a special exhibition titled PLU at 125: Lutheran Education on the Frontier. The exhibition includes maps, interactive media and selected historic items from PLU’s archives and chronicles how Lutheran educational ideals have been pushed to encompass a greater and greater segment of society, both at PLU and in Scandinavia.

Scandinavian Spirits

WINTER | November through December 2015

Arcus, the company that makes Aalborg and Linie aquavit, is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this travelling exhibition! The first mention of aquavit ever recorded is from the year 1531, when Archbishop of Nidaros (modern day Trondheim) Olav Engelbrektsson received a noble gift called “Aqua vit,” meaning “water of life,” as a form of medicine that was then believed to cure “all illness any man could carry inside.” Denmark, Norway and Sweden share a “spirited” tradition of enjoying beer and aquavit – sometimes together, sometimes separately. This exhibition explores the cultural history of these beverages, follows those drinking traditions to Scandinavian-American communities and answers questions like “What IS aquavit, anyway?” and “How do you ‘skål’ correctly?” Fun, informative and engaging, this exhibition will travel to Scandinavian museums across the United States between 2015 and 2018.

Stories of the Danish Resistance

FALL | September through October 2015

In the autumn of 1943, the efforts of Danish citizens successfully rescued more than 7,000 Danish Jews from imminent arrest and deportation to concentration camps. Using fishing boats, private vessels and other small crafts, Danes ferried their Jewish neighbors to safety in neutral Sweden. Evading the boat patrols of the occupying Nazi forces, most of Denmark’s Jewish community remained in Sweden through the rest of the war. This story of the daring Danish Boatlift is told in a series of posters with narrative and historic photos.


Denmark October 1943 was produced by the Museum of the Danish Resistance (Frihedsmuseet) in Copenhagen. It is made available to American venues through the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa

Nordic Northwest's Grand Opening Exhibition

SUMMER | June through August 2015

This exhibit was designed for the opening celebration of Nordic Northwest’s new cultural center, Nordia House, and provides a fun, engaging and educational glimpse into the exciting world of the Nordic countries.


Seventy-five subjects were to be presented in groups of five (one for each country: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) under 15 different categories: Art, Science, Literature, Music, Design, Sports, Film, Politics, Fashion, Bright Minds, Beautiful People, Outdoor Adventure, Comedy, Cuisine and Exploration. Each group of subjects within each category was carefully chosen to provide a balanced and educational view of the Nordic cultures across generations, disciplines and gender.