Mr. Petter Olsen and his cultural center, Ramme Gaard, offer the unique opportunity of giving Edvard Munch and the “Christiania Bohemians” their rightful place in Norway’s cultural history.We hereby invite the official sector in the hope of a fruitful cooperation.

 

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Ill. of Ramme Gaard hotel now being built, with Ramme Gallery of
Fine Art and Local Museum, hidden under ground.

 

Ramme is also etablishing exhibition areas. Exhibitions will concentrate on the rich and interesting art and culture history of the region, focusing on Ramme and Hvitsten.The first exhibition will open in May 2015. The program will be launched in the autumn of 2014.

Our ideais that future exhibitions also could be realized in a similar way. The Gallery is therefore not primarily a platform for Olsen’s private art collection, as has been speculated in the media. It is, nevertheless, possible that parts of Olsen’s collection could be included in this contextThe Olsen family has both donated and lent Munch paintings to various museums and exhibitions, particularly abroad. This was especially important during the time before Oslo established its own Munch Museum.

Following the destruction by fire of Munch’s home in Kragerø in 1939, and the city of Oslo’s demolition of Ekely in 1961 to make room for a parking lot, the only remnant of his several homes, is the small fishing lodge in Åsgårdstrand and his house at Nedre Ramme, Hvitsten. In spite of the fact that Munch lived and worked at Ramme for several years, the place remains practically un-known to the public, due to its somewhat remote location and the house being in private ownership.

 

 

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L: Munch purchased the house at Nedre Ramme in Hvitsten in 1910. He kept this property
until his death in 1944.

R: Sketch of Nedre Ramme with horse and dog in the orchardby Edvard Munch in a letter
to his German friend Gustav Schiefler, 1910. 


At Ramme, Munch found the peace of mind he was looking for, a possibility also for to the current day visitor. The surroundings at Ramme have remained more or less unchanged over the last century.There are plans to restore Munch’s home at Nedre Ramme, to rebuild his studio “Kullboden” on the pier and possibly also a section of his outdoor work shelter behind the main house. There are also plans to re-introduce farm animals and Munch’s original orchard, making the venue well worth a visit. Visitors can experience original art at the place where some of Norway’s most monumental paintings were created. They can view the home of Edvard Munch and even spend a night in his room. This is a rare kind of experience, to be found very few places in the world! 

 

 

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«Bølgene» (“The Waves”) painting by Edvard Munch, 1931.


As Munch remains Norway’s only artist of international importance, and probably the best known Norwegian abroad, managing his heritage is a great responsibility. We would therefore like to invite the public sector, the Oslo Munch Museum and the National Museum, to run the gallery. With Ramme Gallery of Fine Art and Local Museum a platform is being established to promote golden era art from the Hvitsten area and make it available to national and international visitors. 

There is also a plan for a traditional passenger ship service between Hvitsten and Åsgårdstrand, and Munch’s two remaining homes. A Munch-triangle could be established with Oslo as the starting point for an attractive daytrip.

In the summer, when the number of visitors is at its highest, exhibitions in Hvitsten might reduce the need for expensive high-security gallery space in Oslo.
 

 

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«Badende Mann» (“Bathing man”) painting by Edvard Munch,1918.


We hereby invite the official sector to find the best way to expose the rich cultural heritage of Hvitsten today and for future generations. This is a gift to Norway and the international art world, and a rare opportunity for private/public cooperation. Edvard Munch’s 150th anniversary in 2013 will be a trial run for Norway’s national cultural politics.


Background

For decades shipping heir and philanthropist Mr. Petter Olsen has developed an ecological and cultural center at Ramme Gaard in Hvitsten, a place where he has strong family ties. The intention has been local and regional promotion of culture, including inspiration towards a sustainable society.

 

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Ramme Havlystpark.
 

Hvitsten, with its interesting history, is beautifully located by the Oslo fjord. With the finalization of a local zoning plan, our ambition is to preserve this valuable area for future generations, and to make it more readily accessible to the public. Ramme with its many attractions and activities is already open to the public. People visit the organic farm daily to enjoy the country side and the beautiful nature. Here visitors can wander around, meet the animals and birds, admire the architecture, and have a tasty meal at the café. In the summer season there is both a traditional Shakespeare festival and classic concerts in the elaborate baroque garden with its terraces, waterworks, pavilions and sculptures. Later in the summer we arrange a rock festival which attracts more than a thousand spectators.

 

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«Sommernatt ved Christianiafjorden»
(“A summer
night by the fjord”) pastell by
Oda Krohg, about 1886.


 

 

«Rammebråthen» painting by Frits Thaulow. Bokken Lasson in the
foreground.


The “Christiania Bohemians” were a cultural and political movement in the 1880s with its center in the nearby capital of Oslo. The group consisted of approximately twenty men and a few women, many of whom spent the summers at “Rammebråthen”, near to Ramme Gaard. The philosopher and writer Hans Jæger was the ideological leader of the group and Munch’s idol and mentor. Other well-known bohemians and friends of Munch were Jensen-Hjell, Jappe Nilsen, The Lasson sisters; Bokken and Oda, Alexandra and Soffi,  the latter were married to Christian Krogh, Frits Thaulow and Holger Drachmann respectively, all painters and bohemians. The “Christiania Bohemians” were part of the Naturalistic movement, focusing on emotions, honesty and truth, both in painting and literature. Nude swimming and consumption of Absinthewas quit common... Hans Jæger diligently describes it all in his writings.One of the bohemian creeds was to “write one’s life”. Edvard Munch painted his!

 

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Christian Krohg, Edvard Munch’s mentor, on the beach at Ramme.
In the back
ground Munch’s studio ”Kullboden”.

 


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Local passenger steamers in Hvitsten, 1905. There is now a plan to
open a line between Munch’s two homes: Åsgårdstrand and Nedre
Ramme in Hvitsten.

 

Following a longer period abroad, with important visits to Berlin, amongst other at the infamous drinking hole Zum schwarzen Ferkel, Edvard Munch was admitted to a clinic in Copenhagen for detoxification. By 1909 he had sufficiently recuperated and was finally ready to face a homeland that had not always appreciated his work.Munch rented a house in Kragerø on the southern coast, where he immediately started working on his sketches and full draft versions for the decorations of the new University Auditorium. Already the following year, in 1910, Munch purchased the house at NedreRamme in Hvitsten. He was to keep this property until his death in January 1944.

Edvard Munch wrote about his life and work at Ramme:

– I left Kragerø and bought Nedre Ramme at Hvitsten, because I needed space for my outdoor studio to complete the University Auditorium paintings This is where I found the motive for “ Alma Mater”.


This is where I painted the smaller Auditorium decorations that were exhibited in Berlin and Oslo. And this is where I have, until recently, painted the studies for an improved version of «Forskerne»  (“The Scientists”) with the children’s group to the left in the picture.   

 

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«Forskerne»(“The Scientist”) monumental painting (5 m x 11 m) of Ramme Beach by
Edvard Munch, about 1910 -11.


The fact that Munch bought Nedre Ramme before he was granted the University assignment, or indeed had won the competition for the Auditorium decorations, shows to which degree he wasdedicated to the project. 

In the woods behind his house a large outdoor studio was erected in which his sizable canvases were mounted and the composition of the various images for the University Auditorium was created. The work on the monumental “The Sun” and “The History” images were almost completed in Kragerø,whereas thelandscape for “The Scientists” / “Alma Mater” were found on the beach at Ramme.

 

I will in the future keep to myself. I am in such wonderful peace between woodlands and ocean at Nedre Ramme. 

 

 

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L: Edvard Munch and «Solen» (“The Sun”) in the outdoor studio at Nedre Ramme, 1912-13.
R: Petter Olsen, owner of Ramme Gaard, on the construction site for the new gallery and museum, February 2012. He is holding av drawing of Munch found in his studio "Kullboden" about 1930. It shows "Omega" from the "Alfa and Omega series. 

 

As the owner of Ramme Gaard and Edvard Munch’s home at Nedre Ramme, Petter Olsen feels responsible for preserving the rich cultural heritage of Hvitsten. Edvard Munch is not only of local importance, but an important part of world heritage. Our vision for Ramme is to create a cultural center with the main focus on the local history of Hvitsten. Ramme Gallery of Fine Art and Local Museum”opens possibilities for showing world class art in a local context, makingit available for the public at large.

 

Owner

Petter Olsen