10 May - 31 December 2008

The exhibition “Vigeland’s Wergeland” is made in connection with the official Wergeland-year 2008 in Norway. We celebrate the 200th anniversary since the birth of our national poet Henrik Wergeland (1808-1845). Wergeland-sculptures by Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943), including his life-size Wergeland-monument in plaster and several smaller sculptures, are for the first time shown in this exhibition. In addition, there are about 70 drawings, photographs, Wergeland’s death mask and Vigeland’s private books written by, and about, the poet. The exhibition shows that Vigeland got inspiration from Wergeland in at least 25 years.

The original idea for making a Wergeland-monument was Vigeland’s thought that the poet’s city, Kristiansand, should have a monument for their great national poet. The final version that was chosen for realization (photo) differed a great deal from his earlier work as it appeared more conventional. Standing, as if stopped along his way, in serious thoughts – and, fully dressed. Vigeland did also obtain the poets death mask which he used for a better resemblance.

The Wergeland-monument was unveiled the 17th of June 1908 at the 100th anniversary for the poet’s birth in Kristiansand. At the same time, the city of Fargo in North Dakota (USA) unveiled a second version, a gift from the Norwegian Company in Norway to their American friends. Vigeland received positive acclaims for his monument and people appreciated the way he had presented the poet in serious thoughts.


© The Vigeland Museum / Nobels gate 32 / N-0268 Oslo / tel. +47 23 49 37 00 / postmottak.vigeland <at> kul.oslo.kommune.no

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