Emanuel Vigeland Museum

 

Architect : Emanuel Vigeland

Year build : 1926

Building : Museum/Mausoleum

Excursion date : 12th of September 2015

Date written : 13th of September 2015

The museum of Emanuel Vigeland is located in the suburbs of Oslo. Though when it was erected in the year 1926, it was surrounded by nature. In its early years it served as a museum for the art of Emanuel Vigeland himself. In the end of his life Vigeland decided that the building should be his Mausoleum. The existing windows were bricked and became the building as it is known today.

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Emanuel Vigeland Museum, 1927, Source: www.emanuelvigeland.museum.no

Due to its location in the suburbs, it is secluded from the main tourism in Oslo. Additionally, the more known artist Gustav Vigeland, who was his brother, overshadows Emanuel and his work.

Walking up through the residential area, the building with its church-like features suddenly appears through the trees. The robust buttresses and cross on the south facade would tell you that this building is a church. A passer-by would not notice the windowless building as a museum or a mausoleum, but rather as a secluded chapel not open for the public.

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Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum, today, Source: Andrea Chirulescu

A small door, a head shorter than most people, gives entrance to the mausoleum. You will move into the vestibule of the building. To enter the main space, you are instructed; it is not allowed to take pictures, don’t talk and put protective and soundproofing socks over your shoes. The door to the main space looks like it is made for the Trolls of Norway. It is rather small and heavy and shuts behind the visitor as a vault door. The barrel-vaulted room is filled with darkness. The only light comes from the few fixtures, which lights the walls barely. You are walking through darkness, trying not to stumble into the few objects that are present. Emanuel painted every part of the space, except the floor. The four corners are marked with a statue made by the artist. Only after 10 minutes in the Mausoleum, it is possible to see all the painted parts. This will make you discover the room over and over.

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Inside the Tombe, Source: Fredrik Drevon

Although it’s not allowed to talk in the room one of the visitors starts singing quietly. It immediately fills the room with this beautiful sound and changes the atmosphere in this dungeon-like space. The space and the acoustics are one of a kind.

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Axonometric of the building, Source: www.enerhaugen.com

Emanuel Vigeland Museum