The Linnaeus Museum is in what was once Carl Linnaeus’ home, beautifully located in the Linnaeus Garden in Uppsala. Objects and portraits tell of Linnaeus’ life and times, both in private and as a scientist.
Home life and scientific achievements
The museum contains unique items which tell of Linnaeus’ home life and his scientific achievements. They include the family’s furniture, household effects, textiles and art; as well as more personal items such as Mrs Linnaeus’ playing cards, spectacles and cookbooks.
It is very unusual for so many items to be preserved from an ordinary professor’s family. It probably has to do with Linnaeus’ enormous reputation: relatives took care of the items they had inherited, highly conscious of where they came from. We see Linnaeus’ medicine cabinet, insect cabinet and herb cabinet, as well as his wife’s imposing dining-room cupboard in walnut, which came from her parental home in Falun.
Portraits worth a special mention include Linnaeus in Lapland clothing – painted by Martin Hoffman in 1737, and a pastel by Gustaf Lundberg, 1753.
The museum displays parts of several sets of porcelain, both East India porcelain and Swedish tin-glazed earthenware from Rörstrand and Marieberg. Among the silverware we see the famous raspberry dish that Linnaeus received as a gift and in which he kept wild raspberries in his old age that were to cure his gout.
There is also a rich collection of textiles used in Linnaeus’ household, including in particular Dutch and German linen damask in the form of cloths and table napkins. Of especial interest is Linnaeus’ own richly embroidered waistcoat and a wedding dress in French silk that one of his daughters wore.
Linnaeus’ scientific activities brought items from his journeys, his time as a professor and his experiments. Parts of the university’s natural history collection, which Linnaeus kept, are on display.
The Swedish Linneaus Society supports the museum.