Biologiska by day and by night

Biological museums are normally not very high on my must see-list. I am usually a bit disappointed when I visit one. However, at the teachers’ fair the director of Biologiska museet convinced me that I would not regret visiting his museum. He was right.

Biologiska museet features large dioramas filled with stuffed animals, depicting the Nordic wildlife. There is more though – and this is what got me hooked. Established in 1893 the museum itself is an illustration of a time long gone and it has quite an interesting history. You don’t like stuffed animals and you couldn’t care less about history? The backgrounds of the dioramas, painted by Swedish artist Bruno Liljefors, are stunning. So is the building itself: architect Agi Lindegren got his inspiration from medieval Norwegian stave churches. Stockholm has many beautiful buildings, but you won’t find any that look even remotely like Biologiska.

It's this specific combination of biology, history, art and architecture that gives Biologiska its identity, and luckily it's run by people who are very aware of this. Biologiska regularly invites contemporary artists and designers to exhibit in the museum, which makes for great collaborations. My first visit was on an evening after work, when the museum opened its doors for great lectures by artists Katja Aglert and Dominic Redfern. We could also go see the dioramas. However, the exhibition area has no electrical lighting so we were given torchlight to go and explore! There is something very special about wandering through a museum in the pitch dark. It makes you feel like a proper wilderness explorer in no time. Biologiska by night looks a bit like this (but less blurry. I am sorry for the horrible picture quality).

And by day, you ask? Good question, I say.

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