Folk Tales and Traditions
Educational material for Swedish pupils abroad Nationalmuseum’s learning activities are aimed at giving all pupils an enjoyable, challenging and educational encounter with art on the pupils’ terms. Our objective is to make the museum collections accessible to students in all forms of schooling. Therefore, we have compiled material for Swedish teachers and pupils in other countries. The purpose of this material is to enhance the linguistic development (in the broader sense) of pupils, while enhancing their awareness of the Swedish cultural heritage, history and contemporary society, as reflected in the Nationalmuseum collection. This teacher’s guide contains a total of 15 works by mainly Swedish artists. The paintings are divided into four themes: portraits, landscapes, folk tales and traditions, and history painting. A short introduction to Nationalmuseum and its collections is also included. The selected works do not aspire to give a comprehensive picture of Swedish art history, but can be used to illustrate a few periods in art. The material is intended to serve as a smorgasbord, where teachers can choose a theme or parts of a theme to complement the topics the class is working on at the time. Use one or more of the pictures as a starting-point or inspiration for creative writing or discussions on various subjects. The exercises vary from simple picture tasks and image analysis, to more complex assignments. If you wish to work more extensively on topics such as Swedish artists, you can use all the pictures in the illustration folder and complement them with images from the Nationalmuseum database, which is found on our website: www.nationalmuseum.se. For instructions on how to use the database, please click on Tips. The images in the illustration folder can be printed out in A4 format or shown in the classroom, for instance by using an LCD projector. All exercises are intended for classroom use, but can naturally also be carried out on site at Nationalmuseum. If you are planning to visit and want to focus on particular works, please contact us well in advance to check if the work is currently on display in one of the galleries. Remember that you don’t have to be an expert on art or artists. Explore and discover our works together with your pupils! If you have any questions or comments concerning the material, please contact us via e-mail: [email protected]
This educational material was written by Helena Sjödin-Landon. Production: Veronica Hejdelind. Graphic design: Agneta Bervokk. Translation: Gabriella Berggren. It was made possible thanks to generous funding from SWEA.
Educational material Folk Tales and Traditions Gnomes, trolls and mythical creatures of nature seem to have a lasting ability to fascinate and entertain. This is evident also in fantasy literature, which is full of witches, wizards, trolls, dwarves, elves and giants in magical adventures and alternative worlds. A folk tale is an imaginative, made-up story that has been passed down orally from generation to generation. A fictitious dream world, independent of time and space, where good conquers evil. In the late NVth century, Sweden’s towns and countryside were going through great changes. Society was rapidly being modernised. Many people moved from the country to work in large factories in the towns. There were also those who began working to protect rural culture. Traditions, folk customs and the national character were seen as something worth preserving. Both Nationalmuseum (NUSS) and Skansen (NUVN) were founded during this period. In the decades around the turn of the previous century, national romanticism dominated Swedish literature, art, architecture and music. Artists who had studied in Paris began painting the Swedish countryside and rural life. Norse myths and the old folktales were also popular subjects in the striving to find and portray the national spirit. The mythical creatures of Swedish folklore also appeared in art, and many of the old folktales were collected and w