Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway has attended the digital opening of an exhibition with painter Anna Ancher at Lillehammer Art Museum. The exhibition “Anna Ancher – Skagen’s inner and outer space” is the largest collection of art from Anna Ancher outside Denmark ever. The Norwegian Queen has always been very involved in art and has put it high on her agenda. Queen Sonja is herself an artist and is best known for her graphic prints and large painted vases which have won international recognition.
In her opening speech, on March 18th, Queen Sonja said: “Anna Ancher’s paintings are comfortable for both the eye ad the mind. Nevertheless, they are also challenging. When you study the soul of her work, and the different versions of the same motif, you discover that she forces us to focus on what is important, peel away the insignificant”.
Queen Sonja had already been given a closed tour of the exhibition during a private visit to the exhibition earlier in the week. The Queen was accompanied by curator, Cecilie Skeide, and artist, Hanne Borchgrevink, who painted the walls in the exhibition. The Queen thanked the museum and everyone involved for creating an exhibition under demanding conditions as the infection rates of coronavirus in Norway have increased sharply in the last two weeks.
The Queen continued: “Art life suffers from the pandemic. Moreover, we, who usually find nourishment, joy of life and inspiration through art experiences, we long for more art. Therefore, this exhibition conveys in both concrete and abstract sense – light. Thank you very much for this.”
Anna Ancher was born in 1859 and died in 1935. She is one of the Nordic region’s most important artists in the period 1880-1920. Her sunny interiors and intimate portraits belong to the Nordic art form. The exhibition consists of almost 200 paintings, many drawings and an extensive contextual material with letters, sketchbooks, photographs and cultural-historical objects. The exhibition is a collaboration between the National Museum of Art in Copenhagen and Skagen’s Art Museums, where it was shown to more than 250,000 people last year.