Nordic Light

Nordic Light International Festival of Photography
Kristiansund, Norway
April 24th - May 6th 2012

Photographs from Norway 1880 -1900

Knud Knudsen
"Parti af Geirangerfjorden" ca 1880

Galleri Balder presents three key landscape photographers who worked in Norway during the last half of the 1800s. The collection covers both landscapes and pictures of everyday life, all taken by Knud Knudsen, Axel Lindahl and William Dobson Valentine. Photographer and fruit farmer Knud Knudsen (1832–1915) was a major pioneer of Norwegian lanscape photography. He was apprentice to Marcus Selmer before he started his own business in Bergen in 1864. Knudsen developed his own artistic expression and has been one of the great trendsetters in Norway.

Swede Axel Lindahl (1832–1906) was Knudsen’s most ardent competitor in the market. Lindahl made a great career as a portrait and landscape photographer in Sweden before he moved to Norway. The reason for his move was probably that businessprospects for landscape photography were better in Norway, which was experiencing a rapid increase in foreign tourism.

The Scottish photographer William Dobson Valentine (1844–1907) visited Norway several times between 1888 and 1893. His magnificent and monumental landscape pictures were produced for a fastidious international market. Unfortunately, all the negatives with Valentine’s Norway pictures were destroyed in a fire in 1961.
The exhibition shows a series of so-called “Mammoth plates” by William Dobson Valentine. “Mammoth plates” are large contact copies with a fantastic level of detail and range of tones. These photographs by Valentine were ”found” in Germany a few years ago and are very rare.