The Arctic – While the Ice is Melting

The Arctic – While the Ice is Melting


In the bright light of the North Star, where meridians come together and time zones come to an end. Home to four million people, this is where the Arctic begins. For thousands of years, people here have lived with the ice.

Experience an exhibition about life in a changing world

Nordiska museet’s Great Hall has made room for the life and changing conditions of the Arctic region. In The Arctic – While the Ice Is Melting, you will encounter the history and future of the ice, and above all the people who live in the Arctic today; through objects, photos, design, artwork, films and projections.

The exhibition will be on display during 2021.

An immersive experience in the museum’s Great Hall

Exhibits, ceiling projections, interactive stations and Arctic taste sensations in the restaurant combine to create a complete Arctic experience for adults and children alike.

A walk through an iceberg

The central element of the exhibition is a mock-up of a giant iceberg with a deep rift between past and present, created together with the design-duo MUSEEA.

As a visitor, you can walk into the iceberg and through the rift, where you will encounter narratives and objects linking the present to the past, connecting science to mythology, and presenting a multi-faceted, poetic story about the past and future of the ice and the daily lives of people in the Arctic.

Arktis - förmodligen Sveriges bästa utställning

Discover contemporary films from the Arctic

The exhibition includes ten documentary films in which you meet people from various places in the Arctic: Qaanaaq in Greenland, Vatnajökull in Iceland, Näätämö (Neidenelva in Norwegian) in Finland, Svalbard in Norway and Abisko, Arjeplog, Laevas and Nautanen in Sweden. The exhibition also covers Arctic locations to the east and west: Clyde River in Canada and Yamal in Russia. Most of the films were produced by Nordiska museet together with documentary filmmaker Camilla Andersen, with support from the Nordic Culture Fund.

Gaze upon an Arctic sky on the ceiling vaults

A complex system of projections opens up the Great Hall’s 20 metre-high vaulted ceiling to an Arctic world and Arctic skies. The projections were created by Jesper Wachtmeister, building primarily on Nordiska museet’s collection of contemporary photos and films. Take a seat in the lounge section of the Great Hall and experience a changing world.

arktis himmel i nordiska museets tak
The Arctic sky lights up Nordiska museet’s ceiling

An exhibition based upon three years of research

The exhibition is based upon three years of preparatory work lead by Lotten Gustafsson Reinius, who divided her time as a visiting scholar from the Hallwyl museum between Stockholm University and Nordiska museet.

In addition to the exhibition, the project has resulted in a multidisciplinary anthology titled Arctic Traces: Nature and Culture in Motion, which was published by Nordiska museets förlag in spring 2020.

Visiting the exhibition

The exhibition space is arranged by theme. In different themed sections, you can learn more about what the Arctic is, how climate change is affecting the region, the resources the Arctic has to offer and how people have lived, travelled and dressed in the Arctic through the years.

You will also learn about the relationship between human and ice. What has it been like through the ages and what is it like today – while the ice is melting? At an interactive station in the Great Hall, you can make a climate pledge to your future self.

Climate actionThe exhibition highlights how climate change is affecting the Arctic and its nature, people and animals. Visitors have the opportunity to make a climate pledge (13.3)

Kungliga Djurgårdens Intressenter, KDI AB, coordinates attractions and joint activities on Djurgården. Learn more