History

In 2013 Stavanger Art Society became Kunsthall Stavanger. Stavanger Art Society was founded in 1865 by a group of dedicated citizens. There were 62 original members, with consul and amateur artist Jens Zetlitz Kielland serving as the society’s first chairman. In 1925 Stavanger Art Society moved into its own premises. The opening of the new building was conducted by King Haakon VII, and the event was included in the city of Stavanger's 800 year anniversary celebrations.

Stavanger Art Society's goal was to promote the experience and knowledge of visual arts by acquiring paintings for their exhibitions – these works were then given to the members in a lottery at the end of each year. Over time, the Stavanger Art Society built a prominent collection including paintings by Kitty Kielland, Harriet Backer, Carl Sundt Hansen, and Norway's most important series of works by Lars Hertervig, among many others. The collection of over 300 artworks was named Stavanger's Faste Galleri and converted into a foundation in 1965.

The art society's building eventually became too small to house the growing collection, and in 1990 Stavanger Faste Galleri became Rogaland Art Museum. The museum moved into a new building, which provided 900 square feet of temporary exhibition space at Stavanger Art Society.

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