A sampling of Minnesota's ethnic collections

  • Updated: April 30, 2014 - 2:02 PM
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The American Swedish Institute

Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

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The Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum offers a large collection of vessels, woven rugs, weapons, drums and other objects handcrafted by Somali nomads, as well as jewelry, coins, paintings and other artifacts. (1516 E. Lake St., Suite 11, Mpls. 612-234-1625, somalimuseum.com.)

The Bois Forte Heritage Museum at Fortune Bay Resort near Tower includes a migration mural, a fur post, a lifestyle display, a birch-bark dwelling and tepee and a path that leads the visitor to the remains of an 1866 gold mine. (1-218-753-6017, www.boisforte.com/divisions/heritage_center.htm.)

The B’nai Abraham Museum & Cultural Center in Virginia is the last standing synagogue on the Iron Range. Mostly abandoned in the 1990s, the building has been restored. A plaque lists members of the B’nai Abraham Synagogue. (www.ironrangejewishheritage.org. For tour hours or to arrange a visit, contact the Virginia Area Historical Society, 1-218-741-1136.)

The Finn Creek Open Air Museum in New York Mills is an 18-acre interpretive site celebrating Finnish heritage. Attractions include a 1900 original farmstead, log barns, a smoke sauna and a sawmill. (1-218-385-3339, www.explorenewyorkmills.com/html/finn_creek.html.)

The Polish Cultural Institute and Museum in Winona documents the experiences of 19th-century Polish immigrants to the area. It offers a doll collection, colored wedding dresses, Polish books, recipes, music, photos, accordions and other artifacts. (1-507-454-3431, polishmuseumwinona.org.)

The Hjemkomst Center is an interpretive center and multiuse facility operated by the city of Moorhead with exhibits celebrating the area’s Norwegian heritage. On display are the Hjemkomst, a full-scale replica of a Viking ship discovered in Norway in 1881, and a full-scale replica of a 12th-century stave church in Vik, Norway. (1-218-299-5511, www.hcscconline.org.)

The Gammelgården Museum in Scandia offers a glimpse of the lives of early Swedish immigrants — gammelgården means “old farm” in Swedish. The 11-acre open-air museum features preserved and restored buildings. (651-433-5053, www.gammelgardenmuseum.org.)

The American Swedish Institute is an arts and cultural center as well as a museum. It originated in 1929 in the castle-like Turnblad Mansion in Minneapolis, expanding in 2012 with a reception area, gallery, event center and other facilities. (2600 Park Av. S., Mpls., 612-871-4907, www.asimn.org.)

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