The Nerdrum Museum

Few have made a bigger impact on Norwegian cultural life than Odd Nerdrum. Not only does he have an impressive body of work behind him, but he has also been a beacon for the revitalization of classical figuration in Norway and the world.

Odd Nerdrum in his studio in 1967. Photo: Robert Meyer

His production mainly consists of oil paintings executed according to the baroque and ancient Greek ideals. Many of his paintings are in the collection of important museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New Orleans Museum of Art, and Contemporary Art of San Diego, as well as the National Museum in Oslo.

Odd Nerdrum on the front cover of ARTnews in 1998.

The self-declared kitsch-painter will now finally get his own museum, which will be a permanent showroom of his paintings and drawings from the past sixty years. The choice of location is the painter’s hometown Stavern.

The Pipe House at Sjøparken in Stavern, which will serve as the location for the Museum.

The Museum

Historically an industry area, Agnes is located just north of the city center in Stavern. Agnes is currently being re-shaped by construction and the development of the water canals known as The Sea Park (Sjøparken). In the heart of Agnes we find The Pipe House (Pipehuset), which was an old match factory serving as the livelihood of dozens of families in the area.

The Pipe House will now be renovated and rebuilt as a museum. With a careful approach, the history shall be preserved, while new life invigorates the brick building as the paintings are hung on the walls.

Stavern is Nerdrum’s hometown and where the new museum will be located.


The tiniest city in Norway marks the border between the Oslo Fjord and the Southland. Graced by the idyllic Fredriksvern Church, Stavern is a tourist attraction, and the home town of names such as Herman Wildenvey, Jonas Lies, Ørnulf Bast and Odd Nerdrum

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    • Rembrandt’s Melancholy and Classical Values

      Do you want to know how the mind of the greatest classical painter of our time works?Do you wonder what “classical values” actually are?And why melancholy is actually that important to us? Odd Nerdrum and his former student Jan-Ove Tuv sit down for a conversation in the building which is the Nerdrum Museum in the making: The old Pipe House at Agnes Square outside of Stavern.With a philosophical approach to painting, the discussion will move beyond the strokes and attempt to explain the meaning of painting. Join a one hour conversation about: • The importance of Rembrandt’s melancholy• Why storytelling is so important to us• Why “modern” values are destructive for classical painters and the audience. The event will take place September 14th at 17:00 – 18:00. Tickets are now available.

    • Odd Nerdrum exhibiting “Redemption” at the Autumn Exhibition

      At the annual Autumn Exhibition in Oslo, visitors will soon be able to see Odd Nerdrum’s recent painting entitled “Redemption”, showing a monumental scene of a father rejoicing with his son. The exhibition is Norway’s largest marking of contemporary paintings, sculptures and nonsense, and was held for the first time in 1882 as a radical protest against the established bourgeois dominance in the Christiania Art Society. The exhibition will be on view from the 9th of September through the 15th of October 2023.

    • “Painter of the North”: Odd Nerdrum Exhibiting in Warsaw

      11th August is the date set for the opening of Odd Nerdrum’s solo exhibition at the Uljazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCCA) in Warsaw. The exhibition is titled Painter of the North and features many recent paintings. The UCCCA writes in their press release statement that: “Odd Nerdrum has become one of the most accomplished Norwegian painters since Edvard Munch. A defining moment in his early years was seeing Rembrandt’s painting The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Stockholm.” Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. Photo: Filip Kwiatkowski – In Nerdrum’s paintings, Mankind is situated in an abysmal, mythological world beyond what we usually associate with ‘history’, time and space, says Jon Eirik Lundberg, who is curating the exhibition. He calls Nerdrum’s imagery “a completely new world and a language of signs and symbols,” imitating myths and tales. – But this is not some earlier version of mankind; these people are us, Nerdrum’s contemporaries, only stripped of our modern outfits. Time is absent. They are inhibiting ‘an eternal present’. Not post-apocalyptical, not after some global destruction, but rather as we live today in our essence, Lund continues. The exhibition will be on view from 11th August through 10th of December 2023.

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