Norwegian Sculptor Gustav Vigeland’s 150th Anniversary of Birth

Norwegian Sculptor Gustav Vigeland’s 150th Anniversary of Birth

This year, it is 150 years since Norway’s foremost sculptor, Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943), was born. His home and studio are situated next to the Vigeland Park in Oslo, and a large anniversary exhibition opens on Vigeland’s birthday 11 April and lasts through 15 September. Read more about Norwegian Sculptor Gustav Vigeland’s 150th Anniversary of Birth.

Gustav Vigeland is Norway’s largest sculptor, most known as the creator of the Vigeland Park, about 340 acres, in Oslo. The park, mainly designed and shaped by Vigeland, contains about 200 of his sculptures, among the best known are the Sinnataggen (The Angry Boy), the Monolith and the Life Wheel. The park was completed in the 1950s and has around one million visitors annually.

Norwegian Sculptor Gustav Vigeland’s 150th Anniversary of Birth
From Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo. Photo: Tord Baklund / Visit Oslo

Vigeland’s studio and appartment
In February 1921, an agreement between Vigeland and the City of Oslo was signed by which he was given a vast studio at Frogner in the outskirts of Oslo. In exchange, he would give the city all of the work he had already made, as well as everything he would produce until his death. The studio had an apartment for him and his family, consisting of library, dining-room, living-room, sitting-room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom with bathtub and lavatory (not every household had such indoor facilities at that time).

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Norwegian Sculptor Gustav Vigeland’s 150th Anniversary of Birth
rom the Vigeland museum

Norwegian Sculptor Gustav Vigeland’s 150th Anniversary of Birth
The 150th Anniversary exhibition focuses on Vigeland’s position in art history, and includes borrowings from Musée Rodin, Musée d’Orsay, Musée Bourdelle in Paris, and The Glyptotek in Copenhagen. Vigeland’s works are shown side by side with sculptures by Constantin Meunier (1831-1905), Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) and Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929), among others. The juxtaposing of Vigeland’s art with other main works in European art history serves to put his oeuvre into a larger context.

In total, the municipality of Oslo has granted NOK 5.8 million (USD 682,000) for the planning and implementation of the anniversary.

Norwegian Sculptor Gustav Vigeland 150th Anniversary of Birth 2019, written by Tor Kjolberg

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.