Scandinavian Cultural Center

Scandinavian Cultural Center


The Scandinavian Cultural Center has three exhibition galleries.

  • Hildahl Gallery is our main exhibition space inside the Scandinavian Cultural Center. It consists of 6 bays equipped with special lighting, a flexible mounting system, security, and custom display cases.
  • Larson Gallery is always on view to the public because it is located in the hallway entrance to the Scandinavian Cultural Center. It consists of 5 custom-made, locked display cabinets.
  • Stuen Room is an intimate gallery space where many of our larger household items are displayed, including a selection of furniture. It is also used as our Reading Room. Four locked, glass doors separate this gallery from the shared used space in the Scandinavian Cultural center.

The exhibitions change at the Scandinavian Cultural Center approximately every other month. Many exhibitions are curated by the Director of the SCC, along with volunteer members of the Exhibition Committee, and with input from the Scandinavian Area Studies faculty. A student curated exhibition series was inaugurated in February of 2014 with an exhibition about the Sami and will continue in October of 2014 with an exhibition about the Sustainability movement in Scandinavia. Both of these are based on research PLU students have conducted.

The Scandinavian Cultural Center also is proud to host traveling exhibition and special exhibition developed elsewhere in the United States and Scandinavia. Typically, these have been modern art exhibitions.

Our newest exhibition of this sort will open August 24th, entitled "1814-2014 Red White and Blue: Norwegian Constitution, American Inspiration"

1814-2014 Red White and Blue: Norwegian Constitution, American Inspiration

In 1814, Denmark lost control over Norway, a territory it had held for over 300 years. Leaders from throughout Norway quickly gathered to craft a new constitution, one which would establish Norway as an independent country with its own government. Drawing inspiration from the constitution of the United States and French philosophy, Norwegian leaders drafted a document which created a democratic government with a balanced federal authority. This document was signed in the mountain retreat of Eidsvoll on May 17th, 1814, a date commemorated by Norwegians every year as their national day. With only a few amendments, it has been in continuous force since 1814, making it the oldest such constitution in Europe.

An exhibition celebrating this remarkable document opened on May 17th, 2014, at the Eidsvoll Center in Norway. Made up of works by 10 renown Norwegian modern artists, the exhibition is a visual exploration of themes ranging from freedom and stability, to the struggles facing democracy and globalization. Accompanying the exhibition is a scholarly volume with essays by leading authorities on the history and importance of the Norwegian Constitution. The exhibition and the publication were curated by Trond B. Olsen of ArtPro, Norway, and the U.S. tour is supported by the Royal Norwegian Consulate. The exhibition has been on display in Norway all summer, where it was seen by thousands of visitors. The title of the exhibition and publication is “1814-2014: Red White and Blue – Norwegian Constitution, American Inspiration.”

“The U.S. premier of this exhibition at the Scandinavian Cultural Center is a particular honor,” says Dr. Elisabeth Ida Ward, Director of the Scandinavian Cultural Center. “We have a deep historic connection to Norway here at PLU, but this exhibition is also about looking forward to create a more inclusive democracy today. We think it will resonate with students and the public.”

Each of the 10 chosen artists submitted several works, which range from bold, colorful graphics to subtle ink drawings and photographs, as well as oil paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media.

The Consul of Norway in Seattle, Kim Nesselquist, facilitated the exhibition coming to Tacoma. “The relationship between Norway and the United States is very strong, and continues to be critical for Washington State. It was important we get the exhibition here.”

The exhibition opens to the public at 1pm on Sunday, August 24th. The Scandinavian Cultural Center is located on the ground floor of the Anderson University Center. Admission is free. More information can be found at

After closing on September 28th, the exhibition will move to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where a scholarly symposium on the relationship between the constitutions of Norway and the United States will also be held.