Close-Up: Leslie Anderson, New Nordic Museum Curator
National Nordic Museum, Seattle, WA
NATIONAL NORDIC MUSEUM, 2655 NW Market St, Seattle WA
by Matthew Kangas
Curator Leslie Anderson, a PhD candidate at the City University of New York writing her dissertation on Scandinavian art, seems the perfect fit for the National Nordic Museum, with its new building and new status. (Within months of the facility’s opening last year, the US Senate agreed to give the former Nordic Heritage Museum official status, renaming it the National Nordic Museum.) Anderson has an extensive record of research, curating and internships at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art and National Gallery of Denmark. Her ties will help attract programming for the new building in Seattle’s historic Scandinavian neighborhood, Ballard.
Now in charge of all in-house exhibitions and touring shows, Anderson mentioned in an interview how “programming must be a balance of subject matter—like a history museum—but include the fine arts from the Nordic countries and North America.” The new year begins with a survey of turn-of-the-century Danish-American tenement photographer Jacob A. Riis (to March 15). Surveys of Edvard Munch’s photography, Swedish fashion designers, and examples from the rapidly growing permanent collection will follow throughout the year.
“With nearly eighty thousand objects, we are looking at possible gifts to strengthen the narrative of Nordic-American artists and the look of contemporary Nordic artists,” she explained.
“We are thinking about borrowing art from countries that are less familiar here and developing and collaborating with partners here in the US which share the values of our collection, that is, an openness to new ideas; a connection to nature; issues of social practice; and artistic and technological innovation from Nordic countries.”