Monday, 2 January 2012

Norway’s royal collection goes on display across the country

As previously mentioned the government’s present for the King and Queen’s 75th birthdays this year is 30 million NOK to fund exhibitions based on the royal collections (now mostly in storage due to lack of space) to be held around the country in 2012 and 2013. The exhibitions, which are prepared by the National Museum in cooperation with the royal court, will be accompanied not by a regular catalogue, but by a lavish book titled Arv og tradisjon - De kongelige samlinger (i.e. “Heritage and Tradition: The Royal Collections”), to be published by Orfeus Forlag.
The book will consist of an interview with the King and Queen (by Ulf Andenæs) and a wide range of chapters on topics from history and art history relating to the monarchy. The contributing authors are Tor Bomann-Larsen, Per Egil Hegge, Nina Høye, Ingeborg Anna Lønning, Knut Ljøgodt, Widar Halén, Bjørn Høie, Knut Ormhaug, Jan Haug, Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen and myself. My two chapters deal with the history of royal travels and with the coronation coach of 1906, the previous coronation processions and why the traditional coronation procession was replaced by a cortege in 1906.
Each of the exhibitions will have one theme. The first of them, to be held in Oslo, deals with royal travels and will show, among other things, presents, travel equipment, dresses, uniforms, jewellery, orders and - the pièce de résistance - the newly renovated coronation coach. This exhibition will be opened by the King on 15 February and be open to the public from 16 February to 26 August this year. (The King’s 75th birthday falls on 21 February, but there will be no public celebrations on that date as the King will not be at home. However, his and the Queen’s birthdays will be celebrated on 31 May).
The second exhibition, which will be held in Bergen from 24 May to 2 September, will show gifts from the people to King Haakon and Queen Maud after their arrival in Norway in 1905 and for their coronation in 1906. The exhibition in Trondheim will open in June 2013 and focus on royal vehicles (here the coronation coach will again be on display), while the exhibition in Tromsø, also to be held in 2013, will show the magnificent collection of artworks which was the people’s present to King Oscar II and Queen Sophie for their silver wedding anniversary in 1882 and which they donated to the state when they were deposed in 1905. In addition there will be a travelling exhibition going to smaller towns which will focus on World War II and the royal family’s exile, and a travelling exhibition of photos from the royal collections which will be sent to schools all over the country.
The exhibitions also have a website, which was officially launched today:

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