50 Years of Living Art
Henie Onstad Archive
On August 23rd, 1968 Henie Onstad Kunstsenter opened its doors to the public for the very first time.
Ahead of the opening, NRK's journalist Haagen Ringnes (HR) conducted an interview with Sonja Henie (SH) and Niels Onstad (NO), where the latter explained that they buy art «from talents they believe in and the youth of tomorrow». Here is a short exerpt:
HR: This would be a good time to ask if this is an Art Center for Feinschmeckers or is it for what we can call a normal audience?
SH: I would say both.
NO: For all parts of the community.
HR: And do you have any wishes for the future of the art center?
SH: That many people will make the trip and enjoy it, like we have.
On August 23rd in 1968 Henie Onstad Kunstsenter opened and a short week later the wedding of the future Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway took place, though they had time to attend the opening.
There was a concern that there would be a ridge between the audience and the modern art but in stead the Art Center built a bridge between them. All of 20 000 people bought a ticket to the Art Center the very first month and more than 110 000 people visited by the end of 1968.
As former UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie said in his opening speech on behalf of the board: "Art can be a peacemaker as well as a peacekeeper".
The first director of the Art Center, Ole Henrik Moe, mentioned the choice of profile for the center in his speech: the trinity of interdisciplinary art, internationalizing and youth.
And thus, to use the opening words of Moe: «We take the first step into the future».
Words: Martine Hoff Jensen