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In a series of warnings by the Swedish National Museum, classic 19th-century art is presented as patriarchal, reactionary, and borderline dangerous due to alleged features of racism, sexism, and nationalism. The Swedish National Museum has added politically-flavoured warning texts to swaths of its collection. Most of the warnings concern classic 19th-century paintings and the Nordic national romanticism movement in particular, which prompted Leif Gren, an archaeologist at the Swedish National Heritage Board, to accuse the museum of placing “facilitating pointers” to provide the public with “misleading politicisation” in an opinion piece for Vestmanlands Läns Tidning. According to Gren, 19th-century “bourgeois art” is presented as rife with “deception, falsehood, political manipulation, sexism, and racism”. Among other things, 19th-century art is portrayed as patriarchal, reactionary and borderline dangerous, disregarding “the strong liberal climate” of that era, Gren noted. By contrast, 20th-century art, which increasingly embraces the Social Democratic tradition, is displayed as cultural success.

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