Join in the celebrations of one of Stavanger’s
most important art institutions!
In 2015 Stavanger Kunstforening – which
runs Kunsthall Stavanger – turns 150. The event will be celebrated
with an anniversary exhibition in four parts with a combined opening
and birthday party open to everyone on Thursday 26 November 18:00 –
21:00. The official opening of the exhibition will be conducted by Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey. The exhibition is open 26 November 2015 – 17 January 2016.
An important history
Stavanger Kunstforening was founded in 1865 by citizens of Stavanger with an interest in art. The first chairman of the association was Consul and amateur artist Jens Zetlitz Kielland, and at the beginning it had 62 members. In 1925, Stavanger Kunstforening was the first of the country’s art associations to move into its own building. The inauguration of the building by King Haakon VII was at the same time an element in the 800th anniversary of the city of Stavanger.
Since its establishment Stavanger Kunstforening has been an important
social meeting place for the artistic life of the region, where
artists, art-lovers and cultural workers have joined hands over the
years to establish Stavanger as the city of art that it is today. The
Art School in Rogaland was established in the association's basement premises in 1958, and a considerable part of the art
collection of the Stavanger Museum of Art has its origins in the
Stavanger Kunstforening. In 2013, the association changed its
name to Kunsthall Stavanger, meaning that the focus has shifted from
collection and objects to an active arena for changing exhibitions of
Norwegian and international contemporary artists and expanded
The 150th anniversary
The celebrations of the 150th anniversary will illustrate and elucidate parts of the association's archives and history for the modern public, and will use this as a starting point for reflection on the institution’s position and role today as a space for art and a social meeting place.
– We are looking forward to celebrating a society that has been so important to Stavanger’s artistic and cultural life, and which has generated so much commitment over the years, says the director of Kunsthall Stavanger, Hanne Mugaas.
– We hope that as many as possible of Stavanger’s residents will come to see and discover the association's rich history. But even though we are celebrating our history, we are also looking to the future – as represented by the contemporary art aspect of the exhibition.
The celebration consists of four parts:
– an archival part, in which
extracts from the history of the Stavanger Kunstforening are activated
to present milestones and high points that clarify the association's significant role as an exhibition and meeting place, and not least as
an arena for debate. With archive footage from the Norwegian
broadcasting corporation NRK, old photographs from the newspapers,
and documentation of the art that was acquired for the association over time, a many-sided, rich picture of the history of the
institution is built up.
– a group exhibition of Norwegian
contemporary artists who have explored historiography and archives in various media. The exhibition includes both earlier
artworks, and new ones based on the history of the association. The
participating artists are Ragnhild Aamås, Album (Eline Mugaas and
Elise Storsveen), Lene Berg, Susanne Christensen, Mai Hofstad Gunnes,
Toril Johannessen, Jon Benjamin Tallerås, Linn Cecilie Ulvin and
– a publication that combines the
archive and group exhibitions in a visual and discursive
forum. Kristina Ketola Bore, Jørund Aase Falkenberg, Holly Pester,
Victoria Øye and Hanne Mugaas look at the significance of the
association as a place for showing art, and how the Society has been a
forum for debate and engagement.
– a series of events that invite the
public to art and dance experiences that reflect the association's rich
history as a social meeting place. These include an art discotheque,
a concert, a performance, a special presentation programme for
children and young people, and the launch of Kunsthall Stavanger’s
series of art prints, which will be on sale in our shop. A programme for these events will soon be posted on our website.
The archive part of the anniversary
exhibition has been curated by Kristina Ketola Bore,
design writer and Rene Josdal, graphic designer, with the support of Hanne Mugaas, managing
director, Kunsthall Stavanger; and Maya Økland, curatorial assistant,
Kunsthall Stavanger. The group exhibition and the event series have
been curated by Hanne Mugaas and Maya Økland. The publication
has been edited by Kristina Ketola Bore and designed by Rene Josdal.
The exhibition is supported by Arts
Council Norway, Fritt Ord, Rogaland County Council and Norwegian Art