The new exhibitions
THE EXHIBITION CONCEPT
The new museum represents a new generation of research museums aimed at creating outstanding educational visitor experiences by combining world-leading research, unique Viking Age collections and visionary architecture with engaging, dynamic exhibitions and other public attractions.
A changing world
The exhibition concept emphasises diversity. The exhibits will tell stories about life, culture and society during the Viking Age, and about Scandinavian journeys, expansion and interaction with other cultures. The rich collections and research will shed light on everyday life, ideas and attitudes, kings and wars, and the transformation of Scandinavia from the many cheifdoms to the three kingdoms. The history of the Viking Age is diverse and dynamic, With many signifcant changes taking place over a relatively short period of time. The new museum of the Viking Age will paint a picture of Viking society and how Scandinavia changed from the mid-8th century to the early 11th century, as well as the major impact Viking culture had on Europe. The overall concept of the Viking Age Museum is "A Changing World".
The exhibitionswill be based on an “up-close” narrative approach. This incorporates the current popular interest about the past: we may be far apart in terms of time, but research brings us up close, making the Viking Age comprehensible and meaningful for visitors. “Up close” focuses on authenticity: Come up close and look, it’s real! "Up close" enables us to emphasise the details and uniqueness of the artefacts, and the narrative approach allows us to use digital tools to create and visualise stories that bring visitors up close to lives that once were lived.
The content of the exhibitions will be varied and adapted to suit different types of visits. Some visitors will wish to experience the highlights in a short space of time, while others will want to explore the various themes and stories in greater depth. Visitor experiences will be planned with this in mind. The artefacts, scenography and audiovisual effects will tempt visitors to explore and make discoveries. Various types of presentations will provide sensory, challenging and spectacular experiences, creating enthusiasm and involvement for both busy and curious visitors alike.
Storyline in four parts
- The starting point – this will consist of an introduction to Scandinavia in the days before the Vikings, and visitors will be introduced to the Viking Age.
- A different world – this will cover the period around the year 800, with the Oseberg discovery forming the basis of narratives about a society with a worldview framed by Norse mythology.
- The long journey – this will cover the period around the year 900, with the Gokstad ship burial forming the basis of narratives about how different regions struggled for power and fought over resources, the central place held by ships in society, and Viking encounters with the outside world.
- A new order – this will cover the period around the year 1000, with narratives about how the three Scandinavian countries emerged, how new towns were established and how Christianity consolidated its role in society.