Our Mission

The purpose of “Friends of the Viking Ship, N.F.P.” (FOVS) is: to facilitate the preservation of the 1893 Viking Ship as an important artifact from the Columbian Exposition, and to advocate its public display in a permanent museum setting with adequate security and climate control. To accomplish this goal, FOVS will raise funds for its protection and preservation, and for interpretation of its history. FOVS will also seek appropriate partners who share our mission of securing an optimal long-term home.

Board of Directors

Bjørn Rektorli, President
Dave Nordin, Vice President
Samantha Bamberger, Secretary
Bruce Andresen
Dave Barrows
Mette Bowen
Craig Hanson
David Heidtke
Linda Naunapper
Phil Shappard
Michael Olesen
Andrew Woods

Honorary Board Members

Paul S. Anderson
Hon. Perry J. Gulbrandsen (Ret.)
Gunny Harboe
Donald Hoganson
William Nissen
Peter Orum
Elizabeth Safanda
Perry C. Straw Jr.

Our Accomplishments

Seeing the plight of this historic treasure, “friends” rallied around the Viking and decided this “first ever” replica Viking ship needed to be preserved.

Since 2007…

• a website launched (August, 2007)
• a professional assessment of the Viking completed (November, 2007)
• a $52,000 grant awarded by American Express (2007) toward its stabilization (2008)
• incorporation of Friends of the Viking Ship, NFP (August 2008)
• visitor viewing platform erected (September 2008)
• regularly scheduled visitor’s days (ongoing)
• educational posters showing brief history of the Viking installed (2010)
• security enhancements (2009 and 2010)
• additional shelter enhancements (2011 and 2012)
• cleaning and archiving of the Viking’s deck boards (2011 and 2012)
• regularly scheduled maintenance (ongoing)
• transfer of trusteeship from the Chicago Park District to the FOVS (September 2012)
• inspection/assessment by wooden ship experts (June & November 2013)
• keel supports installed by professionals (2014)
• rib supports installed by professionals (2014 and 2015)
• bow and stern supports installed completing our stabilization effort (2016)
• attained accredited charity status with Better Business Bureau (2017)
• website upgraded (2018)
• preservative of turpentine, raw linseed oil and pine tar applied to ship, deck boards and oars (2019)

Link to 2021 Annual Report

Can you help?

Many parts of the Viking and pieces that traveled with her, such as china and glassware, have disappeared. We appeal to those who might know of their whereabouts and request their return. We are accepting donations of items and memorabilia relating to the Viking. Items will be properly cataloged, and may be used as a part of the Viking ship exhibit.  Please contact us if you have any items to donate.