Nordiska Museet, Djurgården, Stockholm


Stockholm does not have a museum dedicated to modern design but the Nordiska Museet at the west end of the island of Djurgården has extensive displays of decorative arts. There is an excellent gallery for furniture of the 20th century with pieces by major designers including Carl Westman, Bruno Mathsson and Kerstin Hörlin-Holmquist. There is even a kitchen taken from an apartment in Stockholm of 1955 ... a good example of simple, rational and practical design.

One small display gives an interesting insight into one possible reason that good design is found in so many ordinary Swedish homes. In the 1940s housing became a major political issue and an institute for good Swedish design (Svenska Slöjdföreningen) was formed to produce exhibitions to help people setting up a new home. In 1944 the designer Lena Larsson planned courses to teach young families to use simple furniture of a good quality and the model furniture in this display was used for the courses.