Hälsinglands museum

(Hälsingland’s Museum)

Museum activities and cultural environment

Hälsinglands museum is a foundation with Region Gävleborg and the municipality of Hudiksvall as accountable authorities. The museum’s premises are in Hudiksvall but it works throughout the county, often in direct collaboration with various local actors, institutions and interest groups.

The museum works independently according to the overall objectives set by the regional and national cultural policy, and with particular focus on the new cultural heritage policy. These goals interact and point to the democratic, critical and transformational role of culture in society. Freedom of expression, equal rights and opportunities to participate are the foundation of culture.

The organisation is based on cultural heritage and contemporary issues. Sometimes the contemporary awakens historical issues, and sometimes history is linked to contemporary discussions. Perspectives change depending on the target group, the nature of the issues and their relevance. Cooperation with current academic research is crucial for being able to work according to this method. Museum education, tours, exhibitions and knowledge development constitute a collaborative approach that extends from museum education for schools to book publishing.

The museum’s collections and expertise concentrate on a number of areas. These include sacred medieval art from a northern and European perspective, popular interior decorative painting and comparable painting culture, church and popular textile material culture and modernist art with a focus on the 20th century. Photographic collections include Hilding Mickelsson’s collection. An important and growing area of competence is in the area of cultural heritage, which leads to new interpretations of collections and archives in method critical and scientific discussion.

Hälsinglands museum works to a certain extent as a referral body for municipalities and authorities in cultural environment matters and also conducts consulting and commissioning activities with a focus on building care, art history, church cultural heritage and textiles.

Fine art, design and handicraft

The museum’s art collection mainly has a modernist and contemporary character, with an emphasis on Swedish art from the 20th century. The museum uses the collection for various exhibitions. It is also interested in lending out works to other museums as well as other institutions – both nationally as well as internationally. In a large part of the exhibition activities, the museum works with various contemporary artists, both national and international. Contemporary art plays different roles, some artists’ work raise a social discussion, and others raise existential or aesthetic questions. For the museum, it is important that conversations between the artist and the audience are made possible. The museum usually also designs special museum education, with a focus on younger audiences, which ties in with the works. The museum also becomes a meeting place, a space where art is the driving force for conversations about society and existential issues.

Hälsinglands museum showcases handicraft in exhibitions and craft is well represented in the museum’s collections. In order to take advantage of craft and artistic interest in wider groups, the museum also works with traditional art with new influences and movements such as global crafts, minority craft, queer craft, sustainable craftsmanship and guerrilla craft. The museum has a well-functioning collaboration with craft associations, both at the local and regional level.

Crafts and handicrafts are now a natural element for a more sustainable society. Crafts also mean finding solutions in everyday life and manufacturing or repairing objects with simple tools and energy-efficient techniques.