Friday, October 17, 2014

Oslo: Henrik Ibsen's Stoves. His Apartment, Across from the Royal Palace. Henrik Ibsen Museum.

Henrik Ibsen 1828-1906.
His Stoves. His Oslo apartment.
His Work:  A straddler of generations, precursor of modern issues.
Dramatist. Playwright.

And Warmed by Stoves.

1.  Overview.  Improvising a road trip allows for whim. I aim for stoves. Without stoves, that efficient warmer of heart and room, would there have been a Northern European Renaissance? See our old start in finding stoves in Europe, archaic, at See FN 1

2.  Stoves.  Find a fine collection of Victorian - Edwardian stoves under one roof at the Ibsen Museum in Oslo, his refurbished apartment. See  Here, meet Henrik Ibsen, the man:  a creative, perceptive, creator of drama, putting social issues where some people did not want them to he --  Front and center. See biography at  Henrik Ibsen.  A mere playwright? Why not playwrite. See FN 2. 

Meet him where he lived with his wife, Suzannah, for the last 11 years of his life, in Oslo.  See how he kept warm in his day.  His stoves. 
  • The photographs were taken with permission of our guide, who seemed bemused that a tourist cared about them.  Hello.  Here am I.
I do not recall exactly what each room was in this fine apartment, because the stove was usually off to a corner. If I have something wrong, please let me know.  My notes are not clear.

3.   Is this a bathroom, or a bedroom?  A bedroom would have boasted a wash stand, as here. 

Stove, washstand room, Ibsen's apartment, Oslo

4.  Corner plated stove, with two burners. Is this a six-plate (six pieces for sides to be assembled) or four?

5.  Bedroom stove 

6.  Drawing room, tall parlor stove in corner, painted linoleum flooring

7.  Dining room, tall-case stove

8.  The Blue Parlour is featured at the museum website, see

As I recall, the flooring is linoleum, but painted in different patterns and colors for each room.

9.  Tall, cylindrical stove front, drawing room

10.  View from window, to park, from study, I think.

11. Study, Henrik Ibsen house

12. Hall stove

View of apartment, ;ate 19th Century, I believe. Fair use, small portion of many, many posters.

The restoration of the rooms has been painstakingly precise.

FN 1. 
  • With the role of stoves in mind, then turn to Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs, where his research showed that people first must meet survival needs, physiological, sustenance, shelter. With those met, people can look beyond survival to safety, security. Only with both sustenance and security met, can or do people move up the ladder to self-aactualizing.  Without warmth, without shelter, a place to gather, belong, humans are less than human in what they can achieve. See
Henrik Ibsen lived in an era with sophisticated residential stove systems, heating in a more uniform way than had been earlier possible.  And he self-actualized. 
FN 2.

Why diminish a writer of plays into a mere "wright" -- a mechanical technician.  A writer, in whatever form, creates:  characters, or settings, issues for performance, to add insights to the human condition -- or merely entertain -- is not like making carts or wheels.  The 19th-20th Century literary giant who addressed still-modern issues such as roles of women in a patriarchal society, Henrik Ibsen, wrote plays: but he is not a mere maker of a factory-derived product for sal He lived, grew up, see   See FN 1. Our language that calls him, and others in the dramatic arts, mere playwrights, is so out of touch as to be risible.  Look it up. Wright.  See /

Why does western culture diminish the arts with the term play-wright?  A  wright is a maker of "things." A dramatization, a play, is not a "thing" that is made from a factory, like a maker of carts is a cartwright, see evolution of "wright" at There is economic value to those who create in repetition and improve the model set before, as in making wheels and carts. But theirs is not the  creativity of "write."  The wright is economic. The "write" -- as in arts --  is not merely economic value, although it may arise, but the value of adding to insight to the human condition. Tools for analysis.

Linguistic catch-alls - like the use of "wright" to those misapplying the manufacturing concept to arts -- the deep intuition-intellectual processes to life issues, the one who "writes" --  reflects our own cultural ignorance of  process. 

A cart-wright.  Make the cart. Go home.  Come the auto, you will be forgotten.

The play-write.  Create an experience: insights invited, from presenting a human setting to be performed before live audiences, with interaction, ambiguity, communications with those living the issues.  

No comparison. Diminish the arts, diminish human concerns, not the merely economic -- like the cart.

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