Recapturing the past
Room 2
Silver Drinking Horn
Silver Drinking Horn
Coll. of Johan Paues, Architect SAR Stockholm
Great-Great Grandson of Gustaf Geijer

In the 19th century, Scandinavian descendants of the Vikings began emulating their heroic ancestors. Paintings, literature, clothing, poetry, and operas all drew on Viking themes of great battles and powerful gods, inspiring tales and memorable poetry. Scandinavians who immigrated to America during the 19th and 20th centuries kept this tradition alive, creating imitation Viking artifacts in the New World.

Though well intentioned, this enthusiasm for things Viking led to many misconceptions, speculative theories, and even occassional archaeological frauds. This includes the popular, but erroneous, symbol of the Vikings -- the horned helmet. Vikings never wore horned helmets!

Silver Drinking Horn
This silver decorated drinking horn was given to famed Swedish poet Gustaf Geijer by his students in 1816. The decorations represent the tale of the divine origin of mead, an alchoholic drink made from honey, which was said to inspire poetry.

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Norwegians Landing on Iceland
Norwegians Landing on Iceland (detail)
Painting: Oscar Wergeland

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