Home / Art / InstallationGiant Wooden Trolls Make Mischief in an Enchanting Outdoor Museum

Giant Wooden Trolls Make Mischief in an Enchanting Outdoor Museum

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

Over the summer, the Morton Arboretum in northern Illinois welcomed some peculiar new guests: a whimsical tribe of wooden trolls. Crafted by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, these mythical creatures are the sought-after stars of the outdoor museum’s site-specific exhibit, Troll Hunt.

Troll Hunt invites the public to find six folkloric figures hidden within the arboretum: Niels BraggerFurry Ema, Sneaky Socks AlexaRocky BardurLittle Arturs, and Joe the Guardian. Full of personality, each troll plays a distinctive role in the forest, whether they’re keeping watch over their beloved trees or mischievously catching children in traps.

Like all of Dambo’s sculptures, each troll has been shaped out of reclaimed wood, illustrating the artist’s self-described ability to make “anything you can imagine out of trash.” While the figures’ gesturing hands, giant feet, and expressive faces were crafted in Copenhagen, their colossal bodies were built on-site. Once assembled, most of the trolls came to measure anywhere from 15 to 30 feet tall—though Little Arturs, the lounging figure, boasts an impressive 60-foot height.

To spot these curious creatures, each guest is given a Troll Hunter’s Handbook. When paired with the Arboretum’s tips, this magical guide helps troll hunters of all ages find the fairytale figures.

Troll Hunt will be on display at the Arboretum through the end of 2018. Depending on the weather, the enchanted exhibition may even extend into 2019.

Troll Hunt is an enchanting exhibit at the Morton Arboretum where you’ll find a curious cast of characters. They include: Niels Bragger, a “firm believer in carrying a big stick.”

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll SculpturesMorton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll SculpturesMorton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

Furry Ema, who clearly prefers the company of maple trees to people.

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

Photo: Hannah Rhodes

Sneaky Socks Alexa, who “appears eager to catch a few humans.”

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

Photo: Hannah Rhodes

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

Photo: Hannah Rhodes

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll SculpturesMorton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

Rocky Bardur, a troll with a temper.

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll SculpturesMorton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures
Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

Photo: Hannah Rhodes

Little Arturs, a big troll with an ever bigger appetite.

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

Photo: Hannah Rhodes

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll SculpturesMorton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

And Joe the Guardian, who “protects [the] woods from any outside threats.”

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

Photo: Hannah Rhodes

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll SculpturesMorton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

These fantastical creatures are accompanied by a Troll Hunter’s Handbook and a whimsical poem written by the artist himself.

Morton Arboretum Trolls Thomas Dambo Wooden Troll Sculptures

Photo: Hannah Rhodes

Thomas Dambo: Website | Instagram | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Thomas Dambo.

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