Jonny Rothwell
Posted June 11, 2012 in Food & Drink

In May, Stockholm is getting a whole new cultural and culinary centre, when the former Vin- & Sprithistoriska museet (Museum of Wine and Liquor Listory) moves to Djurgården and changes its name to the much simpler Spritmuseum.

In addition to alcohol, art and food will also be on offer – and it’s not just any art, either. The first exhibition will feature works from the Absolut Art Collection, including international names like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst and Ed Ruscha. Many of Sweden’s front row artists will be present too, from Linn Fernström to Dan Wolgers and Ola Billgren. The exhibition will continue until January 2013.

With over a year’s work gone into the building phase, museum head Ingrid Leffler is looking forward to opening the doors.

“It’s fantastic to be able to open a new museum on Djurgården,” she says. “We’ve been given the possibility to build our dream museum. Our visitors will be meeting more or less unexpected ways to tackle the subject of alcohol in the exhibitions.”

Aside from the temporary exhibition, there will be a permanent exhibition covering the history of alcohol in Sweden and the Swedes’ bittersweet relationship to it. Formed like a walk through the four seasons, the visitors will get to know and analyse different phenomena around drink and drinking: norms, attitudes and values will all be challenged with the help of smells, tastes and music.

The museum is located in two 18th century galley sheds on the southern shore of Djurgården. These two sheds are all that remain of what used to be a row of 30 sheds, originally built as the winter quarters of the Swedish Navy’s galleys. Most were destroyed in fires or torn down in the 19th century, but numbers 16 and 17 survived, serving as office spaces, sailmakers’ workshops and even as a kindergarten during the intervening decades. Lomar Arkitekter have since transformed them into modern exhibition spaces – but not everything is new, even if it might seem so.

Up until recently, the building facades were yellow, but after months of detective work, including studying old paintings showing the site of the museum, the architects found out that their original colour was in fact red. The facades have now been restored to their former glory.

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