Bergen, Norway

July 18, 2023

After the concert Lee and I met with the guide who took us back to the pick-up point for the bus back into town. Torrey and Christopher walked on to get on public transportation to head for the airport to pick up a rental car for their explorations for the next day. The bus dropped us off back in front of several museums whose admission fees were included in the tour. The bus was very late picking us up, so we had time for a nice chat with the guide. Among many other things (such as linguistics), conversation included a discussion of Norwegian painting, since she knew we were headed to art museums. She strongly recommended the paintings of Nikolai Astrup, a few of whose works are represented later down this page.

The first museum we visited there contained works and furnishings from the collection of the Bergen industrialist Rasmus Meyer.

J. C. Dahl is considered the Father of Norwegian Painting, inspiring interest in romantic landscapes. A native of Bergen, he studied in Copenhagen and then in Dresden, with financial help from wealthier citizens back home.

The next generation of painters added nationalism to their romantic ideals, dealing more directly with Norwegian themes and culture.

After 1880 Norwegian artists began studying in Paris, and the influence of Impressionism took hold.

I can see why the guide recommended the works of Nikolai Astrup, represented by the six paintings below.

The works of Edvard Munch in Meyer's collection are quite different from the ones that dominated the Munch Museum in Oslo. After his 1908 nervous breakdown, Munch admitted himself to a clinic in Copenhagen. His self portrait painted at the clinic and the following paintings show a much more postive outlook on life.

Munch also was influenced by Impressionism and emphases on sunshine, fresh air, and exercise.

The second gallery we visted there had just this one large work, Last Dance by Børre Sæthre. The video shows some of light animation and sounds.


We had decided to skip the third museum there, which dealt with craft and design, and went in search of the fourth Kode museum. We walked in circles around office buildings and finally wound up on the third floor of one of them, where we found the Kode offices, but no museum, and no one there to tell us where to look. While I was following Lee around during that quest, I took the following shot that I think gives a good idea of how so much of downtown Bergen looked.

Since that would be our last day together in Norway, we decided to have our FaceTime reunion with Charlie Tucker later that afternoon, a decent hour in both time zones (CEST and CDT, UT+2 and UT-5). Lee and I were in our hotel room, Torrey was in his, and Charlie was home in Pensacola. We had a good visit, doing the best we could separated over the miles. I had been in each of their homes over the last seven years, and each of them have been in mine over the last four years. So I've done pretty well keeping up with these friends of more than fifty years’ duration. Torrey and I had visited Charlie in Pensacola in 2016. I don't know that Lee had seen Torrey or Charlie in person since our 1973 trip.

When Torrey and Christopher went to pick up the rental car, they substitued an electric BMW. So they took us out for a ride to random parts around Bergen, then found the parking garage for their hotel, and we headed out to eat. The next day they were heading out for a hike over slippery rocks in the rain and up a mountain, or something like that. Then came the adventures of trying to get the car charged up when the functioning charging stations wouldn't take American credit cards. We would meet up again in England and hear some of these stories.


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