During the Royal visit to the US to celebrate the 375th anniversary of the establishment of New Sweden their Majesties King and Queen of Sweden visited numerous sites.
The Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden being greeted by American Swedish Historical Museum’s Chairman, Leonard Busby, just outside the museum. Photo Fred Pfaff.
From left to right: Leonard Busby, Chairman, American Swedish Historical Museum; Everett Gillison Chief of Staff Mayor’s Office; Tracey Beck, Executive Director American Swedish Historical Museum; Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael A. Nutter; King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden; Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom and his wife, Mrs Eva Hafstrom.
These images are from the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, May 15 – Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden came to visit the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia for a private reception on May 10. This was part of the 375th anniversary celebration of New Sweden, the Swedish colony that existed for 17 years in what are now Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.
Their Majesties, accompanied among others by the Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafström with wife Eva Hafström, and the Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael A. Nutter, viewed the American Swedish Historical Museum’s new temporary exhibition Dressing Swedish, an exhibition that investigates the role of the dressed body in society and what it means to dress Swedish. Focused on Swedish and Swedish-American culture, Dressing Swedish shows how cultural heritage is created and recreated through dressing.
Their Majesties were also guided through Art by Sigelle, an exhibition of multimedia artworks by Swedish-born artist Sigelle (Sigrid Elisabeth Oldenburg, 1900-1984). The final stop of the tour took place in the New Sweden Gallery, where the Executive Director of the museum, Tracey Beck, showed the history of the Swedish Colony, established by King Carl XVI Gustaf’s forefather, Gustaf II Adolf (1594-1632). The dignitaries showed special interest in the map on the wall showing Philadelphia at the time of William Penn, before continuing to the Nobel Room to mingle with invited guests.
The visit to the museum also included signing of American Swedish Historical Museum’s historic guestbook, signed before them by presidents, kings and queens, and listening to speeches by Mayor Michael A. Nutter, American Swedish Historical Museum’s Executive Director Tracey Beck, and Chairman, Leonard Busby. Tracey Beck gave Their Majesties a book about historic sites in Philadelphia as well as American-made, wooden ABC-blocks to take home for young Princess Estelle.
King Carl XVI Gustaf, who had visited the museum three times before, in 1976, 1988 and 1994, seemed to be nostalgic about being back, especially when talking about how his grandfather, King Gustaf V (1858-1950), put down the first cornerstone of the building in 1926. “There are pictures of that inside”, the King said enthusiastically to the group of Swedish press waiting outside on the sunny steps. His Majesty continued by saying how much he liked to be back at the museum, complimented its interior and emphasized the American Swedish Historical Museum’s importance. Their Majesties stayed almost two hours at the museum before they had to rush out for the next stop on their packed 375th Anniversary schedule.
The American Swedish Historical Museum is located in scenic FDR Park at 1900 Pattison Avenue in South Philadelphia near the Sports Complex. Plenty of free parking is available. For those taking public transportation, the Broad Street Subway’s AT&T/Pattison Avenue stop is within walking distance or SEPTA’s Route 17 (Naval Base) can bring you right to the Museum.