IKEA celebrates 80 years with two new museum exhibitions

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has marked its 80th anniversary with the IKEA Museum opening two new exhibitions.

Based in Älmhult, the new additions include ‘IKEA Through the Ages’ and ‘Hej Ingvar’, which provide unique insight into the brand’s long history and Ingvar Kamprad as a person.

IKEA Through the Ages takes visitors on a journey through time and the company’s history – from the 1950s to today. Visitors can discover how IKEA has been transformed as a brand, a centre for design and a trendsetter over the past 80 years, and how IKEA has influenced and been influenced by the major trends of the different eras.

According to Mats Nilsson, Exhibition Curator at IKEA Museum, the brand has both shaped and been shaped by Sweden’s history and the contemporary age – something that will form the basis for the content of the exhibition.

Mats Nilsson, Exhibition Curator at IKEA Museum, commented: “Most people have some kind of relationship to IKEA. Many of us have lived with IKEA furniture, textiles, lamps and other home furnishings since childhood. Portraying a small part of this – as well as the company’s development in good times and bad – has been hugely educational and enjoyable. We hope and believe that most people who visit the exhibitions will see a lot they recognise, as well as a few surprises here and there.”

The second exhibition, Hej Ingvar!, offers a more intimate, personal glimpse into Ingvar Kamprad’s life. Thanks to previously unpublished interviews – with former employees, IKEA legends and old friends and acquaintances – visitors can gain a more in-depth understanding of the man behind the phenomenon that is IKEA.

“In this exhibition, we chose to focus on Ingvar Kamprad’s resolute and unconventional way of doing business and leading a company. He was a fearless, engaged leader who always saw the people around him. We want to emphasise the personality, creativity and driving force that laid the foundation for the world’s leading furniture store,” says Anna Sandberg Falk, Exhibition Curator at IKEA Museum.

The reopening took place at IKEA Museum in Älmhult on 15 June 2023. Belén Frau, Global Communication Manager at Ingka Group (the largest IKEA retailer), said: “Eighty years of visionary design and unwavering commitment to create a better everyday life for the many people have shaped IKEA into a global icon, residing in the hearts and homes of people worldwide.

“As we commemorate this milestone, the new exhibitions at IKEA Museum offer a captivating journey through time, unveiling the transformation of IKEA brand and the remarkable life of our founder Ingvar Kamprad. From our humble beginnings to becoming trendsetters, we have both influenced and been shaped by the world around us. Join us as we celebrate 80 years of shared memories, inspiration, and the enduring legacy of IKEA.”

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