The 17th of December 2020 marks the175th anniversary of Trondhjems Kunstforening’s foundation. The jubilee also highlights that it is 175 years since Trøndelag got its first public showroom for art. With its art exhibitions, member lotteries and an ever-growing art collection, Trondhjems Kunstforening provided a basis for the significant history of art we have in this area. Renowned artists, e.g. Nikolai Astrup, Gustav Vigeland, Bjarne Ness, Håkon Bleken, Inger Sitter and many more, have wandered about in the halls of Trondhjems Kunstforening, have let themselves be thrilled and inspired, and have in their turn created works which have delighted and inspired others. The story of Trondhjems Kunstforening is the story of how important an art institution is for a region.
The story of Trondhjems Kunstforening (TKF) is also the story of Trondheim kunstmuseum. In order to secure a future management of TKF’s art collection and the building, they were given to Trondheim kunstmuseum when this new museum was founded in 1997. TKF continued as a member organisation and acquired show rooms in the neighbouring building, Bispegata 9a.
The collection was started in 1867 with the acquisition of Adolf Tidemand’s Norsk juleskik (i.e. Norwegian Christmas Tradition) (1846). For the time being, the collection is presented here in Trondheim kunstmuseum, in this venerable building, which in its time was built for Trondhjems Kunstforening. All purchases, all donations, gifts and acquisitions to the collection before 1997, are made to and received by Trondhjems Kunstforening. To celebrate the 175 years jubilee, Trondheim kunstmuseum has chosen to focus on some of these works. The selection has been made in order to highlight major works as well as important artists from Trøndelag and stories we wish to emphasise.
We congratulate Trondhjems Kunstforening with its jubilee and we are deeply grateful for the significance it has had for the art history of Trøndelag and its art scene!