Zorn Museum and Melodifestivalen

Posted on March 13th, 2013 by

Our fourth week here in Mora was a pretty busy one filled with some very Swedish activities! We spent quite a few hours working on our handicraft projects which was decorating the seat cushions we made earlier out of sheep wool. Some people embroidered and other people dry felted on their cushions. Most of them ended up looking like an art project a kid would make in elementary school and give to their parents or grandparents. However I think we all enjoyed making handicrafts and it is nice to be able to bring something home that we actually made ourselves!

Two weeks ago was the Vasaloppet ski race that ended here in Mora and this past Wednesday we all took part in the Barnens Vasalopp (The children’s Vasalopp) that was 6 kilometers long. Cross country skiing is a big deal in Sweden, especially in Mora and many people have been skiing since they were kids. However, many of us had never been cross country skiing before so you can imagine it didn’t go very well. We fell going uphill, going downhill and even on flat ground if your ski got stuck on pine needles in the tracks. Despite all the falls, I think we all had fun and would do it again.

On Friday we took a trip to the Zorn manor and museum. Anders Zorn grew up very poor but discovered his talent for painting and ended up becoming one of Sweden’s most famous artists. We got to take a tour of his house that is located in Mora very close to where we are staying. Zorn and his wife seemed to live very comfortably and had many modern things that the average household wouldn’t have in the early 1900’s. It was only Zorn and his wife Emma living in the house but they often entertained and had guests stay over. Their guests often stayed a lot longer than necessary because they were treated so well. My favorite room in the house was basically a giant room for entertaining. It had a pool table of sorts and elevated couches so guests could watch the game. The room also had a small library and was decorated with all kinds of tapestries from around the world, Greek busts and other artifacts. The room also had 11 meter high ceilings which made the room look even more amazing. There was also a ladder on the wall leading up to a small platform which Zorn built so he could stand up there are speak to all of his guests. However, Zorn was afraid of heights and most likely never used the platform. I guess it was just for looks!

After seeing the house, we went to the museum to see Zorn’s artwork. Overall we were fascinated by his paintings that were all done in watercolors. The way he painted water was particularly fascinating. He made it look so real! He also painted a lot of nudes but the women he painted were never looking at you. It was as if they didn’t know Zorn was painting them. The museum did not allow us to take pictures so I think it is worth looking up paintings by Anders Zorn on Google because they were really good!

We ended the week by ordering pizza and having a viewing party of the final of Melodifestivalen which is the Swedish singing competition that decides who they send to the Eurovision. Sweden won Eurovision last year which means they get to host the final which takes place in May. We invited our teacher Lennart and his family to this party and Daniel, our teacher for our time in Uppsala also came up to spend the evening with us. It was nice to have Swedes with us while watching the show and made us realize how big of a deal Melodifestivalen is here in Sweden. When the winner was decided, our group was split in two; half happy with the man who won and the other half being very bitter that the man named Sean Banan didn’t win. Regardless of who we supported, we all had the winning song stuck in our heads and proceeded to sing it the rest of the night. It was a really fun evening filled with delicious food and great entertainment.


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