“The exhibition highlights the creative passion that permeates the task of presenting the banquet. There is an incredible attention to details and a strong desire to produce an extraordinary tribute to the Nobel Prize laureates. This is true of everyone involved: chefs, florists, those who work with table placements, food service, the divertissement and especially all the guests,” says Clara Åhlvik, curator and Head of Exhibitions at the Nobel Prize Museum.
People all over Sweden celebrate the Nobel Day, 10 December, at schools, assisted living facilities, workplaces or at home as they watch TV broadcasts of the Nobel events. Ethnologists today regard the Nobel Prize banquet as a contemporary folk tradition.
“Given the great public interest in the Nobel Prize banquet, of course we are hoping for many visitors this autumn. It feels marvellous that we can reopen the museum with such a fine, carefully produced exhibition,” says Erika Lanner, Director of the Nobel Museum.
In the exhibition The Nobel Prize banquet – behind the scenes, you can follow the chefs’ creative process as they transform Swedish ingredients into a delicious and beautiful menu. You will see dresses that left a lasting impression and carried messages about both the people who wore them and such hot topics as the climate crisis. Listen to the trumpet fanfares and the acceptance speeches given by Nobel Prize laureates during the evening. You can also view a selection of photographs by Anders Petersen taken at the banquet. On display is the ball gown designed by the Nina Ricci fashion house that was worn at the banquet by Sweden’s Queen Silvia and some years later by her daughter Crown Princess Victoria, along with Bea Szenfeld’s acclaimed gown that was worn in 2017 by Alice Bah Kuhnke, at the time Sweden’s Minister of Culture and Democracy.
The reopening weekend at the Nobel Prize Museum takes place on 21-22 August from 11.00 to 17.00. The exhibition will be open to visitors, along with the museum’s bistro and shop. Cirkus Cirkör, Scandinavia’s leading contemporary circus company, will perform on Stortorget outside the museum on both Saturday and Sunday at 12.00 noon, 13.00 and 14.00. Guided tours in English and Swedish will begin at the same time once an hour at 11.30, 12.30, 13.30, 14.30, 15.30 and 16.30.
Press photos from the exhibition are available here.
For further information, please contact:
Opening hours at the Nobel Prize Museum starting 21 August 2021
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 11.00 – 17.00
Monday – Wednesday: Closed
The Nobel Museum follows the guidelines and recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and monitors developments related to the coronavirus COVID-19.
About the exhibition
Curator: Clara Åhlvik, Head of Exhibitions, Nobel Prize Museum
Set designer: Sahara Widoff
Exhibition designer: Birger Lipinksi
Lighting designer: Tobias Rylander
The exhibition opens to the public on 21 August 2021.
About the Nobel Prize banquet
Some 1,250 guests attend the Nobel Prize banquet. About 500 metres of linen tablecloths are used for the 65 tables in the Blue Hall of the Stockholm City Hall. The meticulous table setting comprises no fewer than some 9,540 porcelain pieces, about 5,400 glasses and some 9,450 Items of cutlery. During the evening, those working with the banquet meal include more than 40 chefs and 190 servers.
About 30 people spend a full week working to create the innovative floral decorations that adorn the Blue Hall. The flowers are donated from Sanremo, Italy, where Alfred Nobel lived during his last five years. One flower that has recurred frequently during the Nobel festivities since the 1950s is the carnation, which is considered very robust.
The first Nobel Prize banquet was held in 1901. During peacetime the banquet has been cancelled four times: The first time was in 1907, when Sweden was in official mourning after the death of King Oscar II. The second was in 1924, when no laureates visited Stockholm. The third was in 1956, when the Nobel Foundation did not wish to invite the Soviet ambassador following the Soviet Union’s invasion of Hungary. The fourth was in 2020, when the banquet was cancelled due to COVID-19.
About the Nobel Prize Museum
The Nobel Prize shows that ideas can change the world. The courage, creativity and perseverance of the Nobel Prize laureates inspire us and give us hope for the future. Films, in-depth tours, and artefacts tell the stories of the laureates and their contributions ‘for the greatest benefit to humankind’. Based on the Nobel Prize’s unique combination of fields – natural sciences, literature and peace – we examine the greatest challenges of our time and show how we can respond to them through science, humanism and collaboration. With our exhibitions, school programmes, lectures and conversations, we at the Nobel Prize Museum strive to engage the public in making a better world. Today we are located at Stortorget in Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town district. We are planning to create a new home for the public outreach activities of the Nobel Prize at Slussen in central Stockholm.