A Selection of Corporate- and Private Art Collections in Norway

Written by Susanne Roald

Norwegian corporate art collections
Canica art collection
DNB art collection
The DNB Savings Bank Foundation1
Hydro Norway art collection
Nordea Norway art collection
Statoil, Statoil Art Programme
Storebrand art collection
Telenor, The Telenor Art Collection 

Norwegian private art collectors
H.M Queen Sonja of Norway
Hans Rasmus Astrup (Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo)
Christian Bjelland
Knut Brundtland
Per Grieg Sr. (”The Grieg collection”, Oseana Art and Culture Center, Os)
Stein Erik Hagen (Canica Art Collection, Oslo)
Rolf Arebø Hoff (Hoff Collection KaviarFactory, Lofoten)
Tor Juul
Erling Kagge
Fred Kavli (1927-2013)
Erling Neby (The Erling Neby Collection, available online)
Petter Olsen
Christian Ringnes (The Ekeberg sculpturepark, Oslo)
Petter Stordalen
Christen Sveaas (Kistefos-museum, Jevnaker)
Torstein Tvenge
Morten Viskum

Norwegian private collections
donated to public museums

Olaf Schou (1861-1925)
1888: cofounded ”Association of National Gallery’s Forge”, which financially supported the National museum for important acquisitions. The same year he donated the first works from its own collection.
1890s: donated several significant works to the National Gallery from his private collection, which the museum itself was not able to acquire.
1909: donated 116 paintings to the National Gallery, including a number of significant artworks. He continued to acquire individual artworks, which he gave to the museum.
1915: donated the last piece to the National Gallery, Midsummer (1915) by Edvard Munch. 

Ananias Dekke (1832-1892)
1905: Rasmus Meyer, family friend and advisor, bought the collection. Dekke’s collection was the basis of the Rasmus Meyer Collection (opened 1924). For more information, see Rasmus Meyer.

Johan Wilhelm Normann Munthe (1864-1935)
1907: donated his collection of Chinese art and crafts to the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Bergen. Currently the collection is presented at KODE 1, Bergen Art Museum. 

Rasmus Meyer (1858-1916)
1916: collection donated to the city of Bergen. In 1924, the Rasmus Meyer Collection was established, and the collection is now presented at KODE 3, Bergen Art Museum. The collection consists of many representative works from the golden age of Norwegian art, such as Johan Christian Dahl, Tidemand and Gude, Harriet Backer, Christian Krogh and Henrik Sørensen. His collection also includes major works by Theodor Kittelsen, several Norwegian students of Henri Matisse and Edvard Munch.

Tryggve Sagen (1891-1952)
1917: a part of the collection, especially some contemporary impressionists from France, was donated to the National Gallery.

Christopher Tostrup Paus (1862-1943)
1918: donated his Greek and Roman art collection (the largest private collection in Scandinavia) to the National Gallery, Oslo. The collection formed the basis of the National Gallery’s collection of antique sculpture.
Other museums in Scandinavia and the Catholic Church have also received donations. 

Christian Langaard (1849-1922)
Cofounded the associations ”Friends of the National Gallery” (1917) and ”Friends of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design” (1918).
1909: donated his collection, mainly Renaissance and Baroque art, to the National Gallery. Since 1924, his collection has been on display in the Langaard-room, National Gallery, Oslo.
After 1922: his collection of works from ancient folk art and art industry was donated to the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Oslo, and to the Norwegian Folk Museum as bequest. 

Einar Lunde (1875-1951)
1921: Mr. Lunde bequeathed over 100 paintings to Lillehammer, which formed the basis for “Painting collection, Lillehammer City”, inaugurated in 1924. Currently, the collection is on display at Lillehammer Art Museum. 

Jørgen Breder Stang (1874-1950)
1933: Mr. Stang, or his descendants, donated parts of the collection to the National Museum. His collection included works by Renoir, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne and Gauguin. Especially central works were Les joueurs de cartes (The Card Players) (1890-1892) by Cèzanne and Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (1897) by Gauguin.
1968: The archive contains photos showing parts of Mr. Stang’s art collection, as well as interior shots from his home on Skillebekk in Oslo. The material was given to the National Gallery by Ragna Thiis Stang and Nicolay M. Stang. 

Rolf E. Stenersen (1899-1978)
1936: donated his collection of contemporary Norwegian art, above all Edvard Munch, to the former Aker municipality. Oslo adopted the collection after the municipal merger in 1948. In early 1970, the collection in its entirety transferred to the Munch Museum. From 1994, the collection has been on permanent display at Stenersen Museum in Oslo.
1971: donated his collection of foreign art to the City of Bergen. In 1978, the collection opened to the public at Stenersen Collection, Bergen.

P.H. Matthiessen og Ingeborg Torsøe Matthiessen
1948: donated a collection French and Flemish 1500-1800-century paintings to the National Gallery. The gift also included archival material, which includes the period from 1902 to 1947. 

Johannes Sejersted Bødtker (1879-1963)
After 1963: donated a large number of works to the National Museum. Several of the works from his collection are considered masterpieces in Norwegian art history, from Matisse- and Revold-students and modernists of the 1930s. 

Sonja Henie (1912-1969) and Niels Onstad (1909-1978)
1968: inauguration of the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. The donation consisted of their art collection, a building to house both the collection and other activities, and a fund to run their business. 

Reidar Wennesland (1908-1985)
1971–1978: donated parts of the collection to his hometown, Kristiansand. Currently the collection is owned by Kristiansand Cathedral School and University of Agder. It is considered as the largest existing collection of art from the beat era in California and contains works of several key artists such as, Jay DeFeo, Jess, George Herms and Fletcher Benton. 

Halvdan Hafsten (1905-1993)
1984: donated over 200 artworks to the city of Stavanger. The collection contains major works by Norwegian artists born in the period 1899-1909, including Reidar Aulie, Harald Dal, Arne Ekeland, Erling Enger, Kai Fjell, Ragnar Kraugerud, Thorbjørn Lie-Jørgensen and Alexander Schultz. From 1992, the collection has been on display in the former Rogaland art museum, Stavanger (today known as Stavanger Art Museum). 

Viggo Hagstrøm (1954-2013)
2012/ 2014: bequeathed large parts of the art collection of North Norwegian Art Museum. The collection’s focus is mainly visual arts from the period 1880-1940, with emphasis on 1910 and 1930, and Art Nouveau silver. 

Nicolai Tangen
2015: donated his collection of over 1000 artworks to Kristiansand. The collection’s focus is primarily on Norwegian artists from 1930 to 1970. This is the largest single-gift ever donated to Kristiansand.


1 Since 2005, The DNB Savings Bank Foundation has built a significant art collection that is being deposited at Norwegian art museums. The collection is owned by the Foundation, but as the artworks are deposited with long-term contracts, they will be an integral part of the various museums’ own collection. 

 2 An overview of all Schou’s donations to the National Museum is in the catalog ”Olaf Schou gifts to the National Gallery” 1987.

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