Betzy Akersloot-Berg (1850-1922) was a badass maritime painter, island queen and globetrotter who went her own way. Her path always lead to the ocean, her "one true longing". A success in her time, but an obscurity in Norwegian art history.
Our main exhibit for 2019 will make room for Betzy Akersloot-Berg's history and art. An artistic life filled with journeys, travels and amazing images of the ocean and humanity. We will present paintings, drawings, photographs and other documentation of her extraordinary life. In addition, we will exhibit art by her peers, like Elisabeth Sinding, Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Adelsteen Normann and Peder Balke.
Betzy frequently painted serene motifs from oceans and coasts, but also dramatic scenery from storms, shipwrecks and war. Beautiful, but also close to reality, bordering to documentary. In her 20s she worked five years as a nurse in Finnmark in Northern Norway, years that made a lasting impression. She travelled extensively her entire life, and even after settling in Vlieland on the Dutch coast in her 40s, she came back to Norway and the northern shores as often as she could.
Betzy was many-sided, self-contradictory and unpredictable. She was deeply spiritual, but didn’t attend church. She traveled on a whaling ship to the Arctic Ocean and kept company with the Queen of the Netherlands. With Like Betzy we want to put a spotlight on neglected stories. Who is like Betzy today? Which other stories have dissapeared? Who is many-sided, committed, skilled and self-contradictory, but presented one-dimensionally?