This is the single greatest museum of central Norway, holding one of the most eclectic collections in the country. Dating from 1893, the museum is devoted to applied arts, placing special focus on the changing trends in world art, especially in modern design and handcrafts. You'll see both historical and modern collections of furniture, textiles, silver, and a lot more, along with temporary exhibitions.
Displayed on the lower floor, the historical exhibitions span the period from 1500 to 1990, specializing in furnishings from northern Europe, including Germany and England. The Arts and Crafts collection focuses on the creative breakthroughs of British craftsman and designer William Morris and his followers at the end of the 1800s and is rich in metal craft, avant-garde ceramics, and printed textiles. The Art Nouveau collection is heavy on French art; most of it was purchased at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. An entire salon on the lower floor is devoted to the contributions in Art Nouveau architecture by architect and designer Henri Van de Velde, a citizen of Belgium.
The Contemporary Collection concentrates on objects created in the postwar era -- not only in Europe but also from as far away as Australia or even America. Scandinavian design gets the most focus, of course, and there is an interior entirely designed by Finn Juhl, the Danish architect, in 1952. Of special interest are 200 wall hangings and tapestries by Hannah Ryggen, clustered in one gallery. This Swedish artist, born in 1894, married Hans Ryggen, the Norwegian painter, and lived outside Trondheim until her death in 1970.
Other collections include a Costume Exhibition, with garments dating from the 17th century, the era of the 1920s and 1930s most heavily represented. Other exhibitions are devoted to some 300 pieces of jewelry in modern design and a Japanese collection showcasing that country's creativity in metalwork, lacquer, textiles, and pottery.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Very Highly Recommended 2010