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Portraits at Theatercafeen


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The portraits in Theatercaféen

If walls had ears, the stories they could tell … the walls in the iconic Theatercaféen pay homage to various prominent figures from Norway's cultural sphere in the 86 portraits hanging there. What they all have in common is that they were all regular guests at Theatercaféen at some point.

In 1924 the founder of the hotel, Caroline Boman Hansen, hit upon the idea of hanging portraits in Theatercaféen. She bought 30 portraits from the painter Henrik Lund, who had drawn his friends from the café. The pictures portray authors, journalists, actors, painters, musicians and composers.

Famous portrait artists

Most of the portraits are by Henrik Lund, Gösta Hammarlund, Pedro and Ulf Aas. However, there are also works by Finn Graff, Nils Aas, Per Palle Storm, Anne Raknes, Knut Hermod Knudsen, Kristoffer Sinding Larsen, Jukon Gjelseth, Odd Nerdrum, Esther Maria Bjørneboe, Arild Midthun og Esra Caroline Røise.

Portrait-hanging ceremony

The first portraits were hung on the walls of Theatercaféen in 1924, and the first portrait-hanging ceremony took place after closing time one evening, with only a few people present. This was the largest group of pictures to be hung at any one time, but the most unpretentious of all the ceremonies. There are now a total of 86 portraits on the walls of Theatercaféen, and the portrait-hanging ceremony has grown into quite an event.