Centennial Chronicle, Part 2 with a Note from the Publisher

Article excerpt

A random birthday is acknowledged, if at all, by a day or evening of modest celebration. A landmark birthday warrants a little more attention, perhaps a day or two of festivities. But a 100th birthday, a relative rarity and a truly major event, demands unbridled extravagance, and this is what we are providing this year for the centennial of The American- Scandinavian Foundation. This is the second of three special Centennial issues of the Scandinavian Review. In this issue, we continue the ASF time-line and history, reviewing the years from 1 96 1 to 1 990.

As we pass the halfway mark of 2011, the Foundation has already hosted an impressive number of special events, including addresses, exhibitions, and concerts as well as a memorable birthday dinner held in Scandinavia House's Volvo Hall on the very day, March 16, of the centenary of the incorporation of the ASF in New York State. This event was attended by ASF officers and trustees, staff, past presidents and special guests. Major exhibitions included Nordic Models + Common Ground, which offered a fresh look at art and design in the Nordic countries and featured the work of 3 S designers and artists, both emerging and established; and North by New York: New Nordic An, a selection of recent art from each of the Nordic countries. In October, we will open the penultimate Centennial exhibition, Luminous Modernism: Scandinavian Art Comes to America, 1912, which has been inspired by the ASF-sponsored exhibition of 1912, which introduced American audiences to the exciting art being created in Scandinavia at the time. This exhibition will be composed of work by many of the artists included one hundred years ago, including Edvard Munch, VÜhelm Hammershsi, Carl Larsson, and Anders Zorn.

Curtis L. Carlson Centennial lecturers in ASF's Victor Borge Hall featured two recent Nobel Peace Prize laureates: former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. A centennial series entitled Nordic Influences: Americans Look at Great Nordic Writers began in March and April, featuring Finland's Tove Jansson and Denmark's Karen Blixen.

On the music front this spring, the Royal Danish Academy of Music presented three programs with chamber, choral and wind concerts in March; Sweden's Per Tengstrand, well-known to Foundation audiences, presented two Musical Evenings -with Northern Story t one of which was a tribute to the noted Finnish composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. A special highlight was an evening in Victor Borge Hall with the celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, on the eve of his concert at Carnegie Hall.

Looking ahead, the Centennial celebrations culminate in ASF's Centennial Ball on October 2 1 st, which this year will be honored by the presence of Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, Finland's President Tarja Halonen, Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grirasson, Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonia, and Sweden's King Carl XVl Gustaf and Queen Silvia. It promises to be an exciting climax to the year and a 6tting launch into our next century.

Edward P. Gallagher

Publisher, and President of The American-Scandinavian Foundation

A Centennial CHRONICLE 1911-2011


28 A Year-by-Year Timelim of Highlights through 1990

38 An Illustrated Narrative History through 1990

58 ASF Medal and Award Recipients

63 An ASF Treasury of Nordic Books

70 ASF Translation Prizes



John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States. The invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs failed. Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the earth. Ernest Hemingway committed suicide. U.N. Secretary Dag Hammarskjoid was killed in an a ir crash in Africa. …