Søren Solkær murmuration photos at National Nordic Museum

The National Nordic Museum in Seattle presents “Søren Solkær: Black Sun,” showcasing the exquisite photography of internationally celebrated Danish photographer Søren Solkær. The exhibition is open December 9, 2023, to March 10, 2024. “Søren Solkær: Black Sun” features recent work by Søren Solkær (b. 1969), who rose to prominence in the early 2000s with his penetrating portraits of legendary performers such as Björk, Metallica, Paul McCartney, the White Stripes, and Amy Winehouse, among others.

The subjects of the photographer’s present work are music makers of another sort. In his photographic series “Black Sun,” Solkær studies the murmuration of starlings. The term “murmuration” derives from “murmur,” or the soft sound of the starlings’ flight calls and fluttering wings as they move together midair.

Starling murmurations take myriad forms—from abstract to representational and may function as an open call to join the evening roost and provide protection against predators.

From an early age, the artist observed starling murmurations in the wetlands of southern Denmark. In his mature work, he revisits this spectacle, which is observable on multiple continents where starlings are native or invasive species. Solkær has captured this mysterious act of murmurations across Europe since 2017.

Solkær’s “Black Sun” series celebrates this curious occurrence of shape-shifting starlings and draws inspiration from 19th -century European landscape painting and Japanese woodblock prints. Featuring over 50 photographs and video art, “Søren Solkær: Black Sun” is the first exhibition of this series in a U.S. Museum.

Coinciding with the opening of “Søren Solkær:Black Sun,” Solkær released his ninth photographic monograph, “Starling,” in November 2023. The book features 138 exclusive images, encapsulating the beauty and mystery of this fascinating phenomenon.


Søren Solkær is a Danish photographer, born in 1969. He has been working with a global profile since 1996.

Søren is best known for his distinctive portraits of musicians. He is most recognized as the man responsible for various iconic images of Björk, The White Stripes, Paul McCartney, David Lynch, Amy Winehouse, Pharrell Williams, Adele, and Patti Smith.

Søren’s photography is characterized by finding a tension point between intimacy and edginess. His portraits are often regarded as cinematic in tone with a distinctive color palette. The inspirations for his style as a photographer range from filmmakers David Lynch and Wong Kar-Wai to the works of photographer Philip-Lorca diC orcia and painter Caspar David Friedrich.


The National Nordic Museum is the only museum in the United States that showcases the impact and influence of Nordic values and innovation in contemporary society and tells the story of 12,000 years of Nordic history and culture, across all five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) as well as three autonomous regions (Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland) and the cultural region of Sápmi.

The Museum shares Nordic culture with people of all ages and backgrounds by exhibiting art and objects, preserving collections, providing educational and cultural experiences, and serving as a community gathering place.

The National Nordic Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10am to 5pm. General Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for youth, and children 4 and under are free. Discounts are also available for college students and seniors.

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