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Frida Hansen


Frida Hansen (1855-1931) was a Norwegian textile artist, working in the art nouveau style. Hansen reached international fame when The Milky Way (see image above) was shown at the World Expo / Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. Despite Hansen’s fame and signficant pioneering work, Norwegian museums refused to buy her works at the time, regarding her as ‘too international’ and ‘not sufficiently Norwegian’ – Norway was concerned with building a new national identity during that period. Her fame declined as the art nouveau style waned in popularity. Since the 1970’s a renewed interest in her work has emerged, deservedly reestablishing Frida Hansen as one of Norway’s most important visual artists.

The image above is of a huge tapestry created in 1898 by Hansen. She called this work “Melkeveien” (“The Milky Way”). The tapestry now belongs to the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany.

A collection of her works, including The Milky Way, is currently on show in Stavanger (Stavanger kunstmuseum / Stavanger Museum of Art), Hansen’s city of origin. If you happen to be in Stavanger, may be you’d like to pay the exhibition a visit and see her beautiful and sophisticated work for yourself? The exhibition ends 18th October 2105.

Frida Hansen: “Melkeveien” (“The Milky Way”) (1898)
The tapestry belongs to the
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany.

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