The Vikings Begin
The Viking Boat Graves
The sensational discovery of fifteen boat graves at Valsgärde in 1926 led to new insights on the life of the early Vikings in
the 6th century. MYT created a touring exhibition in close collaboration with Gustavianum. The exhibition describes the lesser known history of the Vikings, before conquests and warfare became their trademark.
The visitor is introduced to the boats from the graves and the connection to the early seafaring tradition. MYT designed
the exhibition and various digital content. The whole exhibition is based on a modular concept well suited for a touring exhibition displayed in various venues.
Trading and Seafaring
There are traces from trading in the Baltic from as early as the 3rd century. The Scandinavian tribes travelled east for several centuries, down the river Volga and even reached as far as Constantinople. The ‘Rus’ and the Norsemen were recruited to protect the Byzantine emperor and were part of his Varangian guard from the 9th century. A few select objects from the graves are presented in individual showcases to enhance their unique status, alongside with magnificent helmets and armour, there is a piece of wood, jewellery and roman coins.
Films and Maps
In the exhibition the visitor is introduced to boat graves and the early seafaring tradition through films and maps. The story focuses on trade, before the later habit of conquering land and treasures followed as a result of more advanced boat construction. The ambition to extend wealth and stature grew as new generations discovered more land. The pagan Vikings also practised religious rituals. In the exhibition the section about warfare and religion is accompanied by a film about pagan rituals, produced on site outside Stockholm. It is live footage woven into a mix of graphics, 3D-renderings and music.
Gustavianum, Uppsala University Museum
300 m2, approximately
2023 in Uppsala
Emil Gotthard, Nils Fridén
Neil Price, John Ljungkvist, Uppsala University
Marika Hedin, Gustavianum
ARDI, Södra Tornet
Independent Dekor, Milox
Daryl van Essen
Setting the Mood
A section of the exhibition was related to the religious beliefs of the Vikings. To set a mood and trigger the curiosity of the visitor we created a video picturing ceremonial sacrifices and religious rites. The video was made as a series of fragmentary glimpses to avoid being overly graphic.
The concept and scripts were developed in collaboration with several leading experts on the subject with the aim to be as historically accurate as possible.
Big Prints and Flexible Design
In the commission we were asked to design a flexible exhibition ready to be shipped to the U.S in May 2018. The designs allow the exhibition to be reinstalled at different venues with the possibility to adjust the layout in relation to each space.
We used large scale prints to define the space together with a system of flexible wall sections. The tour started at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut and went on to The Nordic Museum, Seattle and The American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis.