Norden, Reframed


  • Stuart Burch Nottingham Trent University, UK



Art, Baltic, frame, framing, museum, Norden, Nordic, Scandinavia


This paper calls for Norden to be understood as a metaframe. Related formulations like “Nordic art” or “Nordic welfare” function as mesoframes. These trigger multiple framing devices. A cache of related framing devices constitutes a framing archive. Framing devices work best when operating unobtrusively such that inclusions, exclusions and inconsistencies are condoned or naturalised. Their artifice, however, becomes apparent whenever a frame is questioned. Questioning or criticising a frame gives rise to a framing dispute.

The theoretical justification for these typologies is provided at the outset. This schema is then applied to a select range of empirical examples drawn largely from the disciplinary frames (Ernst 1996) of art history and museum studies. Despite this specificity it is envisaged that the general principles set out below can and will be used to address a variety of devices, disputes and archives in Norden and beyond.


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How to Cite

Burch, S. (2010) “Norden, Reframed”, Culture Unbound, 2(5), pp. 565–581. doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.10233565.



Theme: Uses of the Past; Nordic Historical Cultures in a Comparative Perspective