Class in the Park

2 10 2011

The highlight of this week for me was my Norwegian Art History class. Yep, a class was the highlight of my week. But this wasn’t any normal lecture in a classroom; we met for class at the Vigeland Sculpture Park. We started out at the Vigeland Musuem. On the second floor of the museum was Vigeland’s apartment. Our professor paid extra for us just so we could get a guided tour of the apartment! Since his death, the museum has preserved all of his belongings and has the apartment set up exactly as he left it. Our tour guide told us that back when Vigeland started working on the fountain (which later turned into a whole park), he made a deal with the city of Oslo. The city would pay for a space for Vigeland to work, all the supplies and assistants he needed, and an apartment above the studio as long as he gave all of his works from there on out to the city of Oslo. Pretty good deal for Vigeland, since a lot of the materials were very expensive. A stairway that leads up from his library houses an urn with his ashes and some reliefs he worked on before he died.

On the ground floor is Vigeland’s studio which now houses some of his sculptures.  In the museum we were able to see some of his earlier works and some works that are very different from the pieces in the park.  There also is a room that shows the process of making the pieces in the park. They started out being carved in clay by Vigeland, before having assistants cast them in stone or bronze. It was very tedious work as one would guess. The museum also has some of the original sculptures that are in the park. One of my favorites was to see the fountain sculpture up close. It creates a very different feeling being up close to it and seeing how large it actually is. I also enjoyed seeing the monolith up close. Since it is 17 meters tall, it is broken into three different sections and you are able to see the details much better when you can get close to each section of it.

After the museum and apartment tour, we made our way to the park. I’ve already been to the park a few times and always enjoyed it, but it had been a little while since my last visit. Now that it is fall, all the leaves are changing colors and it makes me love the park that much more! The feel of the park has changed a little bit just with the trees and ivy changing colors. I especially liked going to the park with our professor. He made the park even more interesting and pointed out some things I hadn’t noticed before. I also enjoyed listening to his interpretation of the different parts of the park and sculptures as well as the information on what Vigeland’s plans were as he was making the park.

It was a perfect day to see the park, and I can’t wait to go back once it snows and see how the vibe of the park changes again. 🙂

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