Norsk Folkemuseum - Norwegian Museum of Cultural History
Norsk Folkemuseum is located at Bygdøy in Oslo and has an Open-Air Museum with 160 historic buildings. A main attraction is Gol Stave Church from around 1200. The museum focuses on the time period from 1500 until present time, and in-door exhibits feature Norwegian folk costumes, folk art, church art and Sami culture. Temporary exhibits, audience programs and activities for children all year.
About Norsk Folkemuseum
Museums in the Norsk Folkemuseum foundation
Locations for rent
Norsk Folkemuseum shows how people lived in Norway from 1500 to the present through its collections from around the country,.
Norsk Folkemuseum is Norway’s largest museum of cultural history. The160 buildings in the Open-Air Museum represent different regions in Norway, different time periods, as well as differences between town and country, and social classes. The Gol Stave Church dating from 1200 is one of five medieval buildings at the museum. The contemporary history is presented through exhibitions and documentation projects. Permanent indoor exhibitions include folk art, folk costumes, toys and Sami culture. There is also a variety of temporary exhibitions and audience programs all year round.
The Museum History
The History of the Museum
Norsk Folkemuseum was founded by Hans Aall in 1894. This time period was marked by strong national fervor and a desire for a more independent position in the union with Sweden. In 1898 the new museum was permanently established on the Bygdøy peninsula near Oslo, where the first comprehensive exhibit on cultural history was opened in 1901.
Norsk Folkemuseum 1914. Drawing from Aftenposten.
The World’s first open-air museum established in 1881, King Oscar’s Collection, was incorporated in 1907. Thus Gol Stave Church and five other buildings were added to Norsk Folkemuseum. An ambitious plan for further expansion was successfully completed in 1934, adding new exhibit and storage area. The museum played a central role as a research institution and issued its own publications. During the 1950s and -60s this trend continued, and the research branched out to include many academic fields.
Hans Aall, director 1904-1946
Reidar Kjellberg, director 1947-1974
Halvard Bjørkvik, director 1975-1989
Erik Rudeng, director 1900-2000
Liv Hilde Boe, head curator 1991. director 2000
Olav Aaraas, director 2001-, CEO of The Foundationen Norsk Folkemuseum from 2016
Inger Jensen, head curator 2001, director Norsk Folkemuseum 2016
Visit the Open Air Museum
Buildings from rural and urban Norway – from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century.
In the Open Air Museum ...
The Countryside contains farms and buildings from different parts of rural Norway:
The Old Town
The Old Town contains buildings from Oslo and its suburbs, and from Brevik and Kragerø.
Daily life on a farm in a remote valley in Southern Norway.
Daily life on a Farmstead in the 1950s
The Apartment Building
Living in the City 1879-2002.
King Oscar II's Collection
The first Open Air Museum.