Amundsen Expedition Continues to Influence and Inspire 100 Years Later
An exhibition of paintings inspired by Roald Amundsen’s South Pole expedition 1910–1912 comes to the Nordic Heritage Museum on January 18 and runs through March 3.
January 3, 2013 | Seattle, WA — The grueling journey of explorer Roald Amundsen to the South Pole 100 years ago continues to fascinate people around the world. Now three prominent Norwegian artists have expressed their inspiration in paint and present a new exhibition, The Impression of Amundsen: Roald Amundsen’s South Pole Expedition 1910–1912, opening at the Nordic Heritage Museum on Friday, January 18.
Amundsen’s personal diary from the South Pole expedition of 1910–1912 was published for the first time in 2010, shedding new light on this historic expedition. His diary also provided the inspiration for paintings and graphic works from the Norwegian artists Tore Hansen, Ulf Nilsen, and Håvard Vikhagen.
The artists were invited by the Fram Museum in Oslo and Norwegian publishing company ART PRO AS to read Amundsen’s diary and create artworks inspired by the experience. The resulting exhibition is a fresh perspective on Amundsen and his amazing expedition.
“Amundsen had many good and impressive abilities, the ability to plan and think strategically, the ability to endure extreme physical and mental challenges, etc.,” states artist Hansen. “His diary reveals his softer side. To me, he’s surprisingly engaged with the esthetic of nature, like the colors and lights. He does apparently get thrilled repeatedly by the Southern lights. He’s delighted over how nice it is in Framheim and expresses that he’s impressed with the skill of his men. And skillfulness was needed. One can juxtapose the achievement with the moon landing, but there wasn’t any: ‘Small step for man.’ To the single human being it was a giant step, if perhaps not for the human race.”
All three of the artists paint out of realism, but vary from expressionist to abstract in their execution; all invoking the mood of desolate Antarctica and the emotions of Amundsen and the expedition crew.
“You get the feeling of (despite certain happenings) that there had to be a very strong sense of camaraderie in the small, isolated man-mini-society, both on Fram, in Framheim, and obviously in the direct advance towards the pole,” says artist Vikhagen. “And the combination of detailed preparations (extremely detailed!), stamina, courage, and a large sense of humor made it hard not to respect the brave Norwegian men.”
The exhibition The Impression of Amundsen: Roald Amundsen’s South Pole Expedition 1910–1912 runs January 18 through March 3.
Learn more on the Nordic Heritage Museum website at http://www.nordicmuseum.org/exhibitions.aspx#Amundsen.
Painting by Tore Hansen.
About the Nordic Heritage Museum
With over 55,000 visitors annually, the Nordic Heritage Museum is a cultural treasure in the Pacific Northwest. It is the only museum in the United States that represents the cultural heritage of all five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The Museum’s mission is to share Nordic culture with people of all ages and backgrounds by exhibiting art and objects, preserving collections, providing educational and cultural experiences and serving as a community gathering place. The Nordic Heritage Museum presents a wide range of vibrant programs including contemporary art exhibitions, outstanding concerts, lectures and films and a variety of special events throughout the year.
Museum hours: Tues-Sat 10 am to 4 pm; Sun 12 noon to 4 pm; Mon closed
Admission: $6 general; $5 seniors & college students; $4 children over 5 years;
FREE for children under 5 and Museum members; free on first Thursdays
The Museum is located at 3014 NW 67th Street, Seattle, WA 98117.
Erin M. Schadt
Marketing & Communications Manager