ExhibitionDec 12, 2009-Oct 3, 2010

Obama – A Call to Action

Obama in the phone in the oval office.
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Barack H. Obama regarded the Nobel Peace Prize as “a call to action”. This also became the title of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition.


The exhibition was inspired by the connections between Alfred Nobel’s will and Obama’s visions and efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and multilateral cooperation, and a world free from nuclear weapons.

The exhibition consisted of two parts: In the Entry Hall visitors were met by a series of large photo portraits of President Barack H. Obama. The photos are by photographers Callie Shell and Pete Souza, who have followed Obama closely for several years.

The exhibition continued in the then newly reconstructed 150 square meter Gallery on the second level. Here, visitors were invited to join a journey of discovery through time and space, disarmament and diplomacy.

Callie Shell - TIME MAGAZINE

The story of Nobel’s will and Obama’s work for fraternity between the nations was told through books and images, texts and films, and through caskets and interactive games, and the visitors could call Obama’s Blackberry from Alfred Nobel’s old phone. The exhibition also featured reactions to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama.

When the Nobel Peace Prize 2009 was announced, the Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman stated that the Norwegian Nobel Committee for 108 years has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. Some hours later, Obama responded to the news with the words;

"I will accept this award as a call to action."

The Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama because of his “extraordinary contribution to strengthening international diplomacy and cooperation”. It also emphasized Obama’s vision of a nuclear weapon free world and that he, in his short career as President, has created a new climate for international politics.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition is an annual tradition at the Nobel Peace Center, and this was the fifth consecutive exhibition. The photo selection has been made in collaboration with photographer Marcus Bleasdale from VII Photo Agency. Olav Njølstad was the exhibition copywriter and Christine Lohre was responsible for the exhibition design.

The exhibition was supported by the Telenor Group.