Christen Sveaas Art Foundation was established by Christen Sveaas in October 2019. The goal of the foundation is to manage, protect, convey and lend artworks from the foundation’s collection to increase interest in modern and contemporary art.
Around 800 artworks were donated to the foundation from Christen Sveaas’ private collection in 2020. Additional donations in recent years have increased the foundation’s total number of works to over 850.
An important goal for the foundation is to make the collection more accessible for a wider audience. To achieve this, the foundation collaborates closely with Norwegian and international institutions on temporary exhibitions, long-term loans and collection displays.
Reproducing the works in exhibition catalogues and creating new text material are important parts of this work and help keep the works alive and relevant for new generations.
The artworks in this foundation are made available to the Kistefos Museum. Because the number of works largely surpass the size of the museum, they are also made available to Norwegian and international museums, organizations and institutions. Lenders must meet all safety requirements during the entire loan period. For more information and loan requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download loan agreement template
Christen Sveaas (b. 1956 in Oslo) is a Norwegian businessman, art collector, investor and donator who has collected art and antique Norwegian silver for more than 40 years. In 1996 he founded the Kistefos Museum on the grounds of his grandfather Anders Sveaas’ old wood pulp mill at Jevnaker, Norway. The wood pulp mill was active from 1889 until 1955 and is still intact. The museum has one of the largest sculpture gardens in Europe, an industrial museum and two exhibition spaces for contemporary art. The museum building The Twist, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), opened in 2019. Christen Sveaas is a founding member of The Metropolitan Museum International Council, in addition to being Honorary Trustee of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and a Global Patron of Art Basel.
Sveaas developed an interest in art and collecting at an early age. Among his first acquisitions were paintings by Harald Sohlberg, Johan Christian Dahl, Frits Thaulow and Gustav Wentzel. The collection was extended through the acquisition of works from the Norwegian realism, modernism and post-war movements. The collection became more international in the 1990s, when several Norwegian galleries extended their exhibition programs beyond the border. Howard Hodgkin, Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, Christopher Wool, Keith Haring and Ross Bleckner have been key artists in the collection since the 1990s.
After the new millennium, Sveaas began to follow the practices of artists such as Edward Ruscha, Marina Abramović, Gilbert & George, David Salle, Lari Pittman, Bjarne Melgaard, Adrian Ghenie, Andreas Gursky, Louise Bourgeois, Ida Ekblad, Paulina Olowska and Hurvin Anderson. Christen Sveaas still holds an important private art collection that continues to grow.
Other gifts from Christen Sveaas
In 2023, Sveaas donated a painting by the Kenyan-born British artist Michael Armitage to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). Seven paintings by Thomas Fearnley, Johan Christian Dahl and Frits Thaulow have also been donated to the museum.
In 2020, Sveaas donated seven artworks by Johan Christian Dahl, Peder Balke, Christian Krohg and Thomas Fearnley to The Metropolitan Museum in New York. The museum now has its own Christen Sveaas Gallery.
21 works by Johan Christian Dahl, Thomas Fearnley and Peder Balke were also donated to Kunsthaus Zürich in 2018. Several of these works are exhibited in a separate gallery.
In 2010, Sveaas’ investment company Kistefos AS donated 1 million euros to the installation of Monica Bonvicini’s sculpture She Lies in front of the Oslo Opera House.
In 2009 and 2010, Sveaas donated 469 antique silver tankards, goblets, spoons, pieces of jewellery and other silver items from the years 1550-1850 to the Bergen Silver Foundation (Stiftelsen Bergenssølvet). The Silver Treasure is administered by KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes in Bergen, Norway, and is permanently exhibited at their museum KODE 1.
Kistefos AS was the main sponsor for the Vigeland Park and the Vigeland Museum in Oslo from 2000 to 2003. Overrasket (Surprised) is one of the final sculptures Gustav Vigeland created for the park. It was originally completed in plaster in 1942, only months before the model for the work, Austrian refugee Ruth Maier, was deported to Auschwitz and killed. The work was stored in the museum’s basement until 2002, when it was cast in bronze and installed in the park with the support of Kistefos AS.
Director of Christen Sveaas Art Foundation and Christen Sveaas Collection. Since 2010 he has been curator of the sculpture park at Kistefos and has overseen its development. Co-founder and Vice-Chair of 2020, the young patrons programme of The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo.
Other board positions: board member of Stiftelsen Kistefos-Museets Driftsfond and Sølvforeningen 2000
Anja Grøner Krogstad
Collection Management, Christen Sveaas Art Foundation
Assistant Director, Christen Sveaas Art Collection
Chairman of the Board: Christen Sveaas
Lawyer at Bull & Co. Lawfirm
Other board positions: Chairman of the board of the Kistefos-Museum, Board member of Kistefos AS, Anders Sveaas’ Almennyttige Fond and Fr. Nansensvei 14 AS.
Partner PhD at Wiersholm Lawfirm
Other board positions: Board member of Vistin Pharma ASA
Managing Director AS Holding/Christen Sveaas’ Private Holdings
Other board positions: Board member of Stiftelsen Kistefos-Museets Driftsfond, Anders Sveaas’ and Hustru Granvild f. Knudsen Mandalsfond, Kistefos Skog and AS Holding
Jens Henrik Munthe-Kaas
Analyst at Norges Bank Investment Management
Other board positions: Board member of Stiftelsen Kistefos-Museets Driftsfond, Hans Eiendom AS and Senni Eiendom AS
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