Antikvariska serien, no. 55A Case for the Middle Ages: The Public Display of Medieval Church Art in Sweden 1847–1943 explores the collecting and exhibiting of medieval church art at Swedish museums over a period of one hundred years. The Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm (today’s Historical Museum) is the main object of study. During the century covered by the study, the museum moved twice to new premises, each relocation bringing about new arrangements of the collections. The reader is taken on imaginary tours through the halls and galleries of the museum in its successive stages of development, thus tracing the ideas and ideologies behind the physical installations and the choices of which artefacts to highlight – and how. In order to broaden the scope of investigation, temporary exhibitions and the installation of church halls at regional museums across the country are reviewed. The book reveals how the displays formed part of, and formed, the paradigms that determined the contemporary understanding of the artefacts and their role in the narration of the cultural history of the nation.
LENA LIEPE is professor of art history and visual studies at Linnæus University, Växjö. She is specialized in the study of Nordic medieval art and the visual and material expressions of religious culture in the Middle Ages.