National Nordic Museum's Executive Director/CEO Eric Nelson was awarded the Hazelius Medal in Gold on October 24 during a virtual ceremony broadcast from Sweden. The Medal is awarded by the Nordiska Museet in Stockholm each year to individuals who have made significant contributions to Swedish cultural heritage. The Hazelius Medal in Gold is only awarded in extremely rare cases for distinctive efforts.
In announcing this year’s Medal recipient, the Nordiska Musset explained “it has awarded the Hazelius Medal in Gold to Eric Nelson for his tireless work to build bridges of understanding and cooperation between the United States and Sweden, and other Nordic nations. Even though the Museum is in Seattle, it manages to serve as a national and international hub for Nordic values, culture and ideas.”
“It is an incredible honor to receive this award on the behalf of the National Nordic Museum in Seattle,” said CEO/Executive Director Eric Nelson. “It is a testament to the international reach and significance of the Museum and its programs.”
The new Nordic Museum opened on May 5, 2018 in the Ballard neighborhood on Seattle’s working waterfront. The Museum earned the designation National Nordic Museum in 2019 by an Act of Congress. The National Nordic Museum has been widely recognized—regionally, nationally and internationally. The Hazelius medal is the third major award to be presented to the Museum in 2020; earlier this year of the American Alliance of Museums’ presented its Environmental Sustainability Award and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums awarded the National Nordic Museum with the prestigious Buildy Award.
In 2018, President Sauli Niinstö granted Nelson Knight of the White Rose of Finland and in 2019, the Vasa Order of America named Nelson Swedish-American of the Year.
The October ceremony can be viewed in full at the Nordiska museet YouTube channel. The presentation of the medal starts at 2:13 and runs through 10:40.