Week 25 - 2020

Summer on the rock

Anders Beer Wilse (1865 - 1949), Kirkebugten-Skaatøy , 1929. Belongs to Th Preus Museum Collection. 

Summer on the rock

Many pictures make us want to leap right into the pictured scenery and to remain within it. Perhaps it's because the pictures remind us of good experiences? When we look at this image, it's easy to imagine the smell of salt-water and the seagulls gliding in the air. A simple clichè, but for many it’s exactly this kind of summer, summer on the South Coast or by the sea, one associates with childhood memories of summer. For others summer is associated with something else; an ice cold soda sat on a city bench during a warm summer day, or a visit to your grandparents living in Tromsø or Islamabad.

This picture was taken by Anders Beer Wilse (1865-1949) in 1929. It's a picture of two white painted houses on a windless day, as suggested by the quiet water. The bushes on the hillside in the background look weathered, marked by many days of great and powerful winds. Upon closer inspection on the image, we spot a woman looking out the window and a tent on the hillside. Beer Wilse was known during the early 1900s as the greatest landscape and tourist photographer in the country. Previously, he had made a career as a railway engineer and cartographer in the USA. He had also established a photography business in Seattle. Home in Norway he continued his photography practice, and became known for holding numerous lectures with and about pictures from Norway.

This photo was taken in Skåtøy within Kragerø municipality. It was here, in Kragerø, Wilse grew up and it was likely the source of many of his summer memories. For summer this year, most of us have to be content with staying at home. However, this picture can remind us that there is plenty of coast and nature for us to revel in during those lazy summer days, regardless whether you have access to a family hut or not.