Sometimes Sweden surprises the hell out of me. Or Stockholm at least. Not necessarily as an American. Or a Swedish American, but just because it does such good work sometimes. And today was one of those days. I went to a museum today. Because that’s kind of what I do on Sundays. There was a Carl Larsson exhibition at Waldemarsudde out on Djurgården, so a buddy and I went to check it out. It’s been open for a couple of weeks so this wasn’t the opening weekend by any means.
And for the first time ever, I had to wait in line to get into a museum. I had to wait in line to get tickets. I had to wait in line to get into the exhibition. It was glorious. Well not the line waiting thing, but the fact that it was so crowded on a Sunday. I think of Sweden as a place that appreciates culture. The city has 74 museums. You don’t have that many museums if you don’t like culture.
But seriously, I have never experienced this anywhere else in the world. And by world I mean the few countries that I’ve managed to travel to. The only two museums that even came close in my mind were the Louvre and the Denver Natural History Museum when Body Worlds was there. And really, those were just packed. There was no waiting in line.
Now keep in mind, Waldemarsudde is small. It is not the Louvre. It is not the Natural History Museum even. But that’s not the point. The place was packed. On a Sunday. For an art exhibition.
Everyone waited patiently in line to buy a ticket. Then everyone waited patiently in line to be allowed into the exhibition. Then everyone stayed to the left and moved quietly and efficiently through the exhibition moving through the different rooms checking out Carl Larsson’s idealized Swedish lifestyle paintings. There was no crowding, there was no pushing, there weren’t even any old lady elbows. I loved it.
And obviously this speaks to the respect that Swedes have for culture. For art. For Carl Larsson. Really just the overall culturalness of Swedes. All Swedes. Because it’s important to make generalization based on incredibly small sample sizes. And old Swedish ladies.
Welcome to Sweden. Where culture is king.