Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People

Rose-Marie Huuva, The Sámi Collections, Karasjok

Current exhibition at the Scandinavian House

58 Park Avenue @ 38th Street, New York 


Through Saturday, August 23, 2014

Curated by the Tromsø University Museum and Northern Norway Art Museum, Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People is a landmark exhibition examining the history, identity, politics, and visual culture of the Sámi, the indigenous people of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia’s Kola Peninsula.

Sami StoriesFeaturing a selection of contemporary artworks and traditional duodji (handicraft)—including a reindeer milk scoop, shaman’s drum, cradle, and a selection of hats and dolls—Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People offers visitors an overview of Sámi history and visual culture from the 17th century to the present.

The exhibition’s eight contemporary artists—Rose-Marie Huuva (SE), Iver Jåks (NO), Britta Marakatt-Labba (SE), Arnold Johansen (NO), Aslaug Juliussen (NO), John Savio (NO), Arvid Sveen (NO), and Marja Helander (FI)—are all of Sámi descent, with the exception of Sveen, and work in a variety of media, including sculpture, video, installation, woodcut print, embroidery, and photography. Installed alongside the historical cultural objects, the contemporary works illustrate the issues, ideas, and narratives that have shaped and continue to shape, the Sámi people and culture.

The exhibition has been organized in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Norwegian Sámi Parliament and the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution, which, in 1988, was revised to offer unprecedented formal recognition of the Sámi people, language, and culture.

The exhibition has been curated by Charis Gullickson and Marit Anne Hauan and organized by the Tromsø University Museum, Northern Norway Art Museum, and The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF).

Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People has been made possible by grants from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of Tromsø, with the collaboration and expertise of the Center for Northern Peoples. Funding for the accompanying exhibition catalogue has been provided by the Fritt Ord Foundation. The ASF gratefully acknowledges exhibition support from The Bergesen Foundation, DNB Bank ASA, The Bay and Paul Foundations, Bård and Barbara Bunaes, and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York. Support for educational programs and events was received from Scandinavian Seminar and the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York, and funding for artist travel was received from Frame Visual Arts Finland. Additional support has been provided by a number of funds of the ASF, including The Bonnier Family Fund for Contemporary Art, the Hilppa and Joe Roby Fund for Finnish Cultural and Educational Programs at Scandinavia House, and the Andrew E. and G. Norman Wigeland Fund.