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The tapestries by Frida Hansen are highpoints in the Permanent Collection.

In 2016 we established a separate Frida Hansen room in the museum where we show altogether eight works. Four of these are deposited by SR-bank, and four were purchased after the large Frida Hansen exhibition in 2015.

Frida Hansen (1855–1931) was one of Norway’s foremost weaving artists and had a significant international career. Born into a wealthy Stavanger family, as a young girl she received drawing and painting lessons from such artists as Kitty Kielland, Elisabeth Sinding and Johan J. Bennetter. After the family’s bankruptcy in 1883, she began weaving. She learned the ancient technique of weaving on an upright loom and travelled around Jæren and Ryfylke to learn from farmers’ wives how to colour yarn with plant dyes. Her interest in weaving went hand-in-hand with the revitalisation of Norway’s weaving tradition, and like many at the time, she was strongly inspired by older Norwegian tapestries. Eventually she allowed herself to be influenced by artistic impulses from Europe. Today Frida Hansen is considered one of Norway’s most central Art Nouveau artists. 

The tapestries are in Stavanger Art Museum’s collection, either in the form of deposits or purchases. They stem from different periods in Hansen’s career, with the impressive Semper Vadentes (Always Walking, 1905) as an absolute masterpiece.  The works have been subject to extensive restoration and cleaning carried out by the conservation foundation Bevaringstenestene, Museumssenteret i Hordaland. The display in the museum has been made possible with support from Total E & P Norge AS. Text: Hanne Beate Ueland

Photo: Frida Hansen, Semper Vadentes, 1905