The Swedish kitchen revolution

Kitchen Moderna museet
The kitchen tells the story of the hopes, dreams and ideology of Swedish citizens. Nordiska museet, Sweden’s largest museum of cultural history, is putting the spotlight on the Swedish kitchen with their new photo exhibition simply called The Kitchen.

Many of us would consider the kitchen to be the heart of a home, and it has, in its own way, been at the heart of Swedish culture. The Swede’s interest for the kitchen uncovers a struggle for social and gender equality, two things of high importance during the social democratic era. Small and compact kitchens were developed during the 30s and the 40s to make kitchen work more effective and give housewives a higher social status and make them experts within their own field. In the 50’s and 60’s the kitchens grew bigger and made space for eating guests.

Foto: Karl Heinz Hernried, Nordiska museet. - CultureNordic
Photo: Karl Heinz Hernried, Nordiska museet.

Midway through the 20th century Sweden went through great change, becoming what is know as the people’s home (sv: folkhemmet). Everyone had the right to have a good, well functioning home, and this, of course, included a well-functioning kitchen.  Many social reforms were made to better people everyday life and create social equality, with special focus on living standards.

Swedish kitchen - Nordiska museet

The exhibition at Nordiska museet contains about 30 photographs taken by, among others, Karl Heinz Hernried, Gösta Glase and Karl Erik Granath. It is the second part of the series Folkhemmets rum (eng: The Rooms of the People’s Home). The exhibition will last until the 10th of August.

Visit Nordiska museet online here.