The collection is said to be the core of an art museum, the very foundation that all other activity rests upon. The collection contains our common history, the progressive, the unifying, the revolutionary – the artworks that the museum’s directors, curators and acquisitions committees through the years have considered good and important art. But art itself and the perspectives on art are constantly changing. Trends, availability, economy, and culture politics – all influences the development of the collection.

From the collection aims to display the full width of what the museum owns, both well-known works and works that have never been shown before, works from the museum’s first years to recently acquired works. The exhibition consists of four sub-exhibitions:

The American artist Sean Snyder and art historian and curator Ellef Prestsæter examines Peder Balke's work Northern Lights. A parallel exhibition to Kunsthall Svalbard's exhibition Room 11.

En gif med Balkes Nordlys

Wardrobe Writings
Kari Steinhaug’s piece Wardrobe Writings comprises 37 hangers with a knitted object on each hanger and is over 9 meters long. Steinhaug’s work speaks of both deconstruction and construction, blurring the lines between the beginning and the end. What came first, the jumper that was untangled or the ball of wool that was knitted? This is the first time Wardrobe Writings has been exhibited at NNKM.

Our favourites
In Our favourites the staff of Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum voice what they think are some of the best works in the collection. It is sometimes difficult to choose a favourite artwork, but the action of choosing in itself makes us think about why we like an artwork, why we think it is important and what we think it says about the collection, the museum and ourselves as people.

I have kissed so many frogs
Many of the objects in this room have never been exhibited before and like the title of one of the pieces on display, I have kissed so many frogs, some of the objects spend most of their time in the dark “waters” of our storerooms. A recent survey concluded that only 5% of many large museum collections are on show at any time. This assortment of unconventional works, pieces that are often strange and unusual, are the “dark frogs” of the collection that we want to bring to the light.


Lise Dahl, curator
+47 915 73 362