When I wrote about the Ibsen museum the other day, I did not know that there is an other Ibsen exhibition on in Oslo at the moment and I feel I should compare.
"I det hus sætter jeg ikke mine ben mere!" ("I will never set foot in that house again") is an exhibition on Henrik Ibsen and his relationship with the University in Oslo, or Royal Fredrik's University in Christiania as it was then called. Even though this exhibition hardly can be said to be perfect, it has something which I felt lacking in the Ibsen museum's exhibition - a topic and purpose.
Ibsen failed in Greek and Arithmetic, thus he failed the entrance exam and was not allowed to be accepted as a student. This was the start of a troublesome relationship with the University. He get funding from the University for a research trip to collect folktales, but he does not get as much as he needs and he is less successful with his next application. His son, Sigurd Ibsen, also struggles with the university. Sigurd starts his studies in Munich whilst Ibsen lives in Germany. When they both go back to Norway, Ibsen writes to the King to let Sigurd continue his law studies without taking the entrance exam as he is already a student. This petition is rejected.
The exhibition shows the correspondence between Ibsen and the University and water colours Ibsen painted whilst he was collecting folktales. In addition there are water colours of costume designs he made for his own play Olaf Liljekrans and a display of the newly started annotated edition of Ibsen's complete works. And this exhibition seems to be as much a PR-stunt to promote the books. However, it was rather entertaining to get an impression of Ibsen's relationship with the University although it was perhaps not surprising. Ibsen did not have an easy success and popularity in Norway in his lifetime.