Nine distinct stations interweave the development of children's literature with the history of Norway. The exhibit contains photographs (of people and scenes, both urban and rural), portraits, maps, and artifacts (books, decorative arts, etc.). The exhibit premieres at Capital Children's Museum (CCM) in Washington D.C. from May through August of 1998. Starting in the fall it will travel for two years to at least eight other sites in the United States, including Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and San Francisco.
From the collections of folktales from the oral tradition, to Viking sagas, poetry, picture books, contemporary fairy tales, and from young adult novels, to plays, comic books and serials, Norway's children's literature is written with a distinctive flavor and style. Additionally, Norwegian children's literature has affected Norway's history. For example, during World War II, Norwegian children's literature was used to ridicule the occupying Nazis and to convey messages to members of the resistance movement. During the 1950's, the author Thorbjørn Egner had a significant effect on the entire region through his classic tale Karius and Baktus, which is credited with improving the dental hygiene in all of Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and Germany. All of these elements are drawn together and showcased in the exhibit.
CCM, founded in 1974, is one of the top ten children's museums in the
United States. The Museum houses more than 40,000 square feet of exhibit
space and serves approximately 180,000 visitors annually. CCM is highly
regarded for its design of complete cultural environments that accurately
reflect life in foreign countries. When CCM opened its premiere, and still
most popular exhibit, Mexico, in 1979, it was the country's first
permanent, large-scale, participatory cross-cultural exhibit for children.
CCM's other cross-cultural exhibits have included A Festival of India
for Children, From the Hands of Thailand, and currently under development
Capital Children's Museum
800 Third Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
Bibliography from exhibit.