Do you think of Vikings as pillaging, plundering pagans in horned helmets? Vikings: Beyond the Legend, a new exhibition at Melbourne Museum, challenges these stereotypes.
Rare treasures on show include ancient Viking swords, the stunning remains of a Viking longship, and one of the finest Thor’s-hammer pendants ever found.
Conservator Karen Fisher spoke to Melbourne Magazine about the exhibition.
1. What does your role at the museum entail?
My role as conservator involves collection preservation and working with incredibly talented and dedicated people across the organization to deliver the exhibition program at Museums Victoria.
With a collection of 17 million plus items, I am always learning about object materials and manufacturing methods. It’s a great learning environment.
2. What has been your favourite part about working on Vikings: Beyond the Legend?
Engaging in a history that I did not know a lot about and working with colleagues from the Swedish History Museum.
Touring exhibitions are always fun and a great learning experience, offering a range of insights such as cultural context of an object and their materiality to different design systems and packing methodologies.
3. What can visitors expect to see at the exhibition?
Many recent archaeological discoveries that challenge the stereotype of Vikings as pillaging and plundering pagans – they were also family and community-orientated farmers.
The ghost ship, suspended nails to form the hull of a Viking ship, is one of my favourite aspects of the exhibition.
To find out more, visit Vikings: Beyond the Legend.