Vikings

3 Dec 2015 — 17 Apr 2016 at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Canada

17 DECEMBER 2015
Box Brooch © The Swedish History Museum
Box Brooch © The Swedish History Museum

The Canadian Museum of History is proud to present Vikings, an acclaimed exhibition that sheds new light on one of the most storied — if misunderstood — cultures in world history. Drawing on the latest archaeological discoveries, Vikings takes visitors beyond the one-dimensional stereotype of marauding barbarians and reveals an ancient Scandinavian culture of surprising refinement, complexity and achievement.

The exhibition features almost 500 original artifacts selected from the unrivalled collections of The Swedish History Museum in Stockholm. Many of the objects are rarely displayed outside of Scandinavia. Currently on a 10-country international tour, Vikings has already captivated over a million museum visitors in Europe, Australia and other parts of North America.

“After being seen by more than 1.3 million people in seven countries around the world, we are proud to bring this fascinating and revealing exhibition to the National Capital Region on its last Canadian stop,” said Jean-Marc Blais, Director General of the Canadian Museum of History. “Vikings exemplifies our commitment to enhance Canadians’ understanding not only of their own history, but also of other stories and cultures from around the world.”

Vikings paints an intimate and intriguing portrait of a largely agrarian society whose reach extended a thousand years ago from northern Europe to the Middle East. It explores Viking home life and fashion, trade and commerce, and rituals and beliefs, including a supernatural world inhabited by Thor, Odin and other gods and giants. The exhibition pays particular attention to the prominent role of women in a culture better known today for its bearded warriors.

Most of the artifacts date from the Viking Age of Scandinavian history, roughly the 8th to 12th centuries. They include delicate beaded jewellery, intimidating iron swords, miniatures representing Norse gods, a broad assortment of ancient tools and handicrafts, and even a pair of bone-bladed ice skates. The exhibition is further enhanced with a variety of engaging interactive elements.

Vikings is presented at the Canadian Museum of History from December 3, 2015 to April 17, 2016. The exhibition was developed by The Swedish History Museum in Sweden, in partnership with MuseumsPartner in Austria.