The Museum / History
In 1919, the City Council in Oslo decided to build a new studio for Gustav Vigeland at Frogner. The final contract, signed in February 1921, stated that Vigeland would bequeath all his works to the City Council in return for the right to continue using the studio until his death. It was also decided that the studio would become a museum to house Vigeland’s works after his death, and to build an apartment on the 2nd floor of the building.
In 1924 Vigeland moved into the apartment at Frogner where he was to lead a quiet and uneventful life with his wife Ingerid. He was completely absorbed by his work and was seldom seen outside the studio. In the evenings he preferred to sit in the library drawing, reading or making woodcuts.
Vigeland was associated with many highly skilled craftsmen; both plaster casters, stone masons, and smiths. The number of craftsmen in residence varied depending on his needs. They helped build the iron armatures inside the sculptures and roughly covered the larger sculptures with clay according to the sketches. His assistants also carried out plaster casting and stone masonry. The efforts of these assistants were decisive for the realisation of the Vigeland Park.
Vigeland lived at Frogner until his death in 1943.His studio was reopened as a museum in 1947. At present the museum has approximately 1,600 sculptures, 420 woodcuts and 12,000 drawings, in addition to a collection of the artist’s notebooks, several thousand letters and his large library and collection of photographs.