Museum of Work in Norrköping
Arbetets Museum (Museum of Work) is located in Sweden's most famous historical factory building, the Styrkjärn (flat iron), a former weaving mill in the old industrial landscape in the city centre of Norrköping.
The building of the Arbetets Museum in Norrköping is situated on the island Laxholmen in the river Motalaström and it seems that the seven-storey factory building is standing directly in the water. But the appearance is deceptive, as during the construction of the factory in 1916/17, which was built in reinforced concrete in the most modern way at that time, every centimetre of the small island was used. This ultimately resulted in the ground plan in the form of an irregular heptagon, which has a strong resemblance to the sole of an iron.
The museum is run by a government supported foundation and is one of the 13 so-called central museums in Sweden. Each of these museums represents a specific theme, preserves the most important exhibits in its field in its exhibitions and archives, conducts research and supports smaller museums in their work with training, consulting and personnel.
Exhibitions in the Museum of Work
As its name suggests, the Museum of Work is dedicated to the history of working life and the daily life of people associated with it. The museum's exhibitions are not limited to the past, but also focus on the present and dare to look into the future of working life and society.
With the exception of a single permanent exhibition housed in the museum's entire stairwell, all other exhibitions are present for a longer period of time, sometimes several years, but are ultimately limited in time. The exhibitions are lavishly designed with photographs, documentaries, typical contemporary exhibits, reports by eyewitnesses as well as interactive and audiovisual support.
The above-mentioned permanent exhibition in the stairwell shows the history of the former weaving mill Holmen, which remained in the building until it was shut down in the 1960s. This exhibition is closely linked to the documentation of the working life of the factory worker Alva Carlsson, who worked there for over thirty years as one of the up to 600 employees of the textile factory.
On the third floor of the building you will find the EWK-Museum and the Centre for Political Illustration Art, a kind of separate museum within the museum. The letters EWK refer to the signature of Ewert Karlsson (1918 – 2004), Sweden's best-known political cartoonist. The permanent exhibition of this museum tells about the life and work of the caricaturist and includes a gallery with almost 2,000 drawings by Karlsson. In addition, there are changing exhibitions on the subject of political caricature alongside the works of other political cartoonists.
Barrier-free museum with its own café and shop
The entire museum building is barrier-free, all floors can be reached by elevator and the entrance is equipped with a ramp. Only the exhibition in the stairwell is not accessible with a wheelchair. The toilets on floors 1, 2, 4 and 6 are designed to be wheelchair accessible. With the exception of assistance dogs, no animals are allowed in the museum.
Entrance to the Museum of Work is free of charge. There is a café on the ground floor, which is accessible via a side entrance even when the museum is not open. The museum's well-stocked shop offers books, decorative and kitchen articles by renowned manufacturers and artists, toys, posters and postcards as well as books, lithographs and writing pads from the EWK-Museum.
Arbetets Museum: Opening hours & admission
Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00
Last update: 06/2022 | Errors and omissions excepted.