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Queen Sonja opens new art exhibition

Queen Sonja of Norway attended the opening of “The palace’s craftsmanship – created through 200 years” exhibition at Queen Sonja Art Stable at Oslo’s Royal Palace.

Vigdis Hjort, a Norwegian author and craftsmanship enthusiast, led the exhibit’s opening ceremony, honouring the preservation of craft traditions through generations.

During the inauguration of the exhibition, Queen Sonja said: “One can almost feel a shiver through the body in the encounter with a special aesthetic experience. Like when you look at the details and beauty of a hand-drawn glass when your hand holds a Sami drinking cup carved from almost glowing wood – or when you admire the colour combinations in a traditional tapestry. Good craftsmanship fulfils a function, meets a need, and has a special beauty. It helps to create good and beautiful everyday life and festive occasions, through objects that we use – year after year.”

She continued: “We also hope that the exhibition will increase understanding that we need good craftsmen in a sustainable future. That the exhibition can contribute to increased knowledge of Norwegian cultural heritage and create an understanding that history is created and renewed through living crafts here and now. To get there, we need more young people who want to be educated in crafts and that we have enough schools that offer these opportunities. My impression is that many young people want to work with their hands, and it is therefore gratifying that interest in traditional crafts is increasing.”

The new display contains nearly 100 objects that will be shown to the public for the first time.

Queen Maud’s cloak. Photo: Øivind Möller Bakken, The royal collections

The highlight of the exhibit is the coronation cloak worn by Queen Maud during her coronation in 1906.

A historic freight wagon, an outfit re-sewn by Queen Sonja and her own works from her studies in dress and costume sewing will all be available for viewing as well. Additionally, Princess Ingrid Alexandra’s Telemark bunad, silver and blacksmith work, pioneering glassblowing art from Hadeland, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s commitment to weaving and vintage design will be showcased.

Those who wish to visit the new exhibit can do so between 29 January and 17 September.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.