A new exhibition: With an Eye for the Sámi

Alan Borvo´s Postcard Collection. Exhibition period: 21.03 – 30.12.2024. 

This exhibition is based on the Frenchman Alan Borvo’s impressive collection of several thousand postcards with informative texts and sketches. The collection came into being over several years, when Borvo, as a young student, visited Sámi communities in Finnmark in the 1950s.


Exhibition period: 21.03 – 30.12.2024.


The postcard collection consists of 21 folders organized according to thematic and geographical categories.

In the exhibition With an eye for the Sámi, you can see postcards from the first decade after this visual medium was introduced in the 1800s, collotypes with watercolour glazes applied by hand, pictures made by professional photographers and recognized artists, as well as often-imaginative contributions from amateurs.

A boom in tourism in the early 1900s spurred the mass-production of photographic postcards. As a travel destination, the exotic North was shrouded in romantic notions about Europe’s last wilderness – a place where people still lived in harmony with everything in the Creation. Exaggerations and stereotypes characterize the earliest postcards. Geographical and cultural distance made an impact, as so did political and ideological conditions.

Alan Borvo’s visits in the North and his genuine interest in Sámi culture resulted in a large private collection of objects and children’s drawings as well, that have been exhibited several places in Europe. His collection of Sámi children’s drawings was donated to Sámi allaskuvla – Sámi University of Applied Sciences in 2015. Stories about this collection are published in Alan Borvo’s book Fra lapper til samer (From Lapps to the Sámi) in Norwegian and Sámi. The book is displayed in the exhibition and is for sale in the museum shop.

The exhibition With an eye for the Sámi was originally created by Perspektivet Museum, with support from the Sámi Parliament. The exhibition was on display in Tromsø in the period 09.12.2017 – 24.04.2018.

The exhibition at RDM – The Sámi Museum in Karasjok is produced in collaboration with Perspektivet Museum. Thanks to our partners in the project Taking back the museum (funded by Kone Foundation & Uniarts Helsinki – The University of the Arts), Hanna Guttorm and Lea Kantonen for their work with the exhibition design.

The exhibition opening is at Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat on 21 March 21, at 6 p.m. The museum is open in Easter: see the opening hours.