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13 Time Stopped. The Open-air Museum Skansen of Artur Hazelius

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Chapter Summary

Skansen is an icon for the Swedish summerhouse culture, a special Swedish tradition emphasizing Swedes' relationship to nature. There is a close connection between tourism, the museum, and development of Sweden. Travelling to exotic and "authentic" past became significant in the course of ever growing urbanization and modernization of Sweden from the late nineteenth century onwards. The museum has been described in poems and essays as an illusion, a work of imagination, or a wonderful phantasm. Skansen represents the idea of happy Swedish village, an imagined beauty existing in the past but conserved in the present and secured for the future. This chapter focuses on the relationship between the founder of the museum Artur Hazelius (1833-1901) and the late ninteenthcentury archaeologist, museologist and liberal modernist Oscar Montelius. Hazelius' purpose with Skansen was to collect bits and pieces of old Sweden, including flora and fauna, and display them to the public.

Keywords: Artur Hazelius; ninteenthcentury archaeologist; Oscar Montelius; phantasm; Skansen; Swedish summerhouse culture

10.1163/9789004276819_014
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