A Journey in Time

Travel through 2000 years of crafts

A Journey in Time exhibition is located in the auditorium, on the second floor of the museum. The exhibition timeline charts the most definitive phenomena in the history of crafts. The texts and images are only a tiny scratch on the surface of the interesting and diverse past of crafts. The journey starts from thousands of years back, the time before calendars or clocks, and moves towards the modern times.

Crafting can be defined as any type of skill-requiring work that is performed by hand or hand-held tools. Thus defined, almost all pre-industrially produced goods and buildings may be considered as handmade, up until the mid-1800's. There was a time when crafts skills were common, and expected from almost everyone.

Crafts became more economically significant in the 1600's and 1700's, when masters and apprentices started forming guilds. For a long time, sculpting, painting and architecture were classed as crafts. It was not until the late 1700's that craftwork was divided into technical and artistic. This also created a separation between art and practical objects.

The tools used in crafts are often simple in form, but functionally very advanced. Therefore they defy time better than many other products of our culture. For example, old discoveries reveal that the needle has remained more or less unchanged throughout thousands of years.

In the hand of an artist and a master, the tool becomes a magic wand. When an artisan masters a technique, her or she becomes a master. Comprehensively learning a craft skill may take years. The skill is a combination of knowing the materials, design and methods, as well as understanding practical, aesthetic and ethical principles.

The exhibition also has also touch & feel elements with educational text and images. The touch strip contains 79 different craft materials and techniques.