Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Near Skien, Henrik Ibsen Museum. Venstop Farm.

Henrik Ibsen, Father of Modern Theater. 
What spurred his imagination? 
Visit his childhood home, now the Henrik Ibsen Museum, near Skien.  

1. Venstop Farm is still within the region of Telemark, near Skien, Norway. Henrik Ibsen grew up here, 1828-1843. Get close to a Norwegian farm, its connected buildings for coping with winter drifts, idyllic views even now, and climbing trees. He had three brothers, one sister.  Also see his apartment as an adult in Oslo.

2. Was his a happy childhood? No.  In those fifteen years, his family sank from prosperity to destitution. Apparently their income largely derived from a "distilled spirits boiler" and it was shut down, local authorities. See

3. The red barn structures extend far beyond the connector to the house.
Barn, Henrik Ibsen's childhood home, Venstop Farm, Norway

The views are still untouched.

Some trees look old enough for small Henrik to have swung here.  Fruit trees, however, age early. Any tree climbing, however, fosters imagination.

4. Norwegian guest houses, sometimes: why heat something when people aren't there, when laborers or children are not in residence; or perhaps is this an outbuilding for equipment.  Farther north, these often have turf roofs, and all are raised above snowline.

5.  Enjoy a fine caricature of Ibsen: The Venstop Farm is owned by the Telemark Museum system, fair use of tiny portion of exhibit for purposes of comparing to Statuary Ibsen.

How close is it to the real thing? Very close. Relatively small, roundy face, great hirsute halo of hair and beard

6.  Finding Venstop.  As anywhere, detours.  Enjoy short pants on the construction workers. Even in the US, this is becoming more common.  Good.

7.  One reason for the undisturbed landscape is the system of mines underneath.  Fossum Iron Works, and eons of geological history are in Skien.

Fossum Iron Works, Skien Norway

We did not take time to go down. 

More, and current uses of Venstop Farm, at

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