Hannah Ryggen

Hannah Ryggen with her tapestry 'En Fri', 1947. Photo: Schrøder/Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum.

Hannah Ryggen was born in 1894 in Malmö, Sweden, but spent most of her life in Ørland – a municipality situated at the Fosen peninsula in Norway. Despite her remote location, Hannah Ryggen wove tapestries in response to global events, inspired by her own political engagement. Weaving in the 1930s, Hannah Ryggen brought up political themes such as fascism and invasion, and highlighted how precarious a human life is in times of war. Moreover, she thematised issues regarding the female role and social class.

During her lifetime (1894–1970) she created more than 100 tapestries, the largest collection of which is with the Nordenfjeldske National Museum of Decorative Arts in Trondheim, Norway. Hannah Ryggen was the first female Norwegian artist to be presented at the Venice biennale, in 1964. Today, the recognition of Hannah Ryggen is in constant growth across borders and generations.

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