American Swedish Institute is a museum and cultural center that is a gathering place for all people to share experiences around themes of culture, migration, the environment and the arts, informed by enduring links to Sweden.
The museum is housed in the 1908 Turnblad Mansion or "Castle," which retains much of it's original architectural detailing, and a 34,000-square-foot addition, opened in 2012, known as the Nelson Cultural Center. The Osher Gallery hosts traveling and locally originated exhibitions.
The collections includes more than 7,000 museum objects that express the best of contemporary Swedish culture and represent the historic and ongoing experiences of Swedish America.
The collection is strong in paintings, prints and drawings, Swedish glass, woven textiles, needle arts, as well as Swedish folk and vernacular clothing. Other collection categories include: armaments, art ceramics, birch weaving, ceremonial artifacts, dinnerware, figure carving, furniture, housewares, jewelry, memorabilia, music, personal artifacts, sculpture, tools and equipment, toys, models, miniatures, and the items in the Turnblad Mansion.
The historic Turnblad Mansion, former home to Swan Turnblad, his wife Christina and their daughter Lillian, was once one of 40 mansions on the stretch of Park Avenue in Minneapolis known as the Golden Mile. The Turnblads commissioned architects Christopher Boehme and Victor Cordella to design this ornate home, and the mansion took approximately five years, from 1904 to 1908, to build. The family’s world travels inspired much of the design for the 33 room Mansion. From the French Chateauesque style exterior to the finely crafted interior, including 11 decorative tile stoves imported from Sweden.