Experience the legacy of NK Furniture at Sörmland Museum
By Lotta Lassesson | Photos: Björn Dahlgren, Sörmland Museum
This March, Sörmland Museum opens the exhibition NK Furniture – showcasing the craftmanship, design and furniture workshops behind the famous Swedish department store. It will be the largest ever exhibition presenting the NK furniture production that took place between 1904 and 1973.
The grand department store Nordiska Kompaniet (or ‘NK’, as it is also known) produced some of their most famous pieces of classic Swedish furniture in their workshops in Nyköping. NK’s production, located in Nyköping, represents a significant chapter in Swedish design history and, though the workshops are long gone, the NK furniture lives on – carrying with it the legacy of the skilled artisans and well-known designers who created it.
At most, some 500 skilled workers in carpentry, metalwork, sculpting and gilding were working alongside the best architects and designers at the time, such as Carl Bergsten, Axel Einar Hjorth, Kerstin Hörlin-Holmquist, Carl Hörvik and Elias Svedberg.
The NK Furniture exhibition will unveil the story of NK’s furniture and its production for the first time. It is accompanied by the book, NK Furniture, which is richly illustrated with new photographs and contains unique archival material.
Across 400 square-metres, Sörmland Museum will showcase more than 150 items of furniture, from exclusive pieces exhibited at World Expos in the 1920s and ‘30s, to the celebrated Triva range. Besides furniture from the museum’s collections, several contributions have been made by other institutions and private collectors, some of which are on public display for the first time.
AB Nordiska Kompaniet was founded in 1902, and became the first large department store of international standing in Sweden. From the start, furniture and interiors played a central role and, in 1904, the first NK furniture workshops were founded in Nyköping. The operations in Nyköping spanned almost seven decades, and many of NK’s designs have found their home in embassies, city libraries, and even at The Dag Hammarskjold Library at the UN headquarters in New York.
Sörmland Museum is a regional museum, presenting the history and contemporary culture of the province through permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as offering concerts, courses, creative workshops and free guided tours.
In the centre of the museum are the Story-telling Storerooms, housing the museum’s collection of over 80,000 historical objects. They are fully visible through glass walls, allowing visitors to come face to face with human stories from varied eras and origins. Rather than archiving the collection, Sörmland Museum invites visitors to step into history, both literally and figuratively.
Free entry One hour south of Stockholm: Tolagsgatan 8, Nyköping Web: www.sormlandsmusem.se
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