Thursday, September 8, 2016

largely architectural

One of the major reasons for this trip was to come to Ålesund, which burned down in 1904, and was rebuilt in Art Nouveau style.  Rebuilt rather hastily, one might say - not because of the quality of the building itself, but because there's something curiously cookie-cutter about the building types themselves - the variation is all in the decoration.  But how to show it?  Needless to say I was documenting it as extensively as I possibly could - so I'm sparing you what would, in years gone by, be about 10 rolls worth of film ... So here are some whole facades ... or at least substantial parts of them:

some small details -

even otherwise relatively dull edifices often have some little twirly bits -

then there are whole street views.

By way of a change - sort of - there's the Jugenstil Centrum, full of furniture and postcards and vases and posters and statuettes.  I was exceedingly glad to have seen the Japonisme show in Oslo - it was essential to providing context.

But what was also extremely interesting was an exhibition and videos about Cities - including a video about Ålesund - in the art gallery next door.  Apparently over 1/4 of the Art Nouveau buildings here have been pulled down, or have been hugely altered - an especially good mansion was torn down in the early 1970s to make the City Hall (the conservation movement understandably took off after that), and at the same time, a huge rock that kittiwakes used to roost on was blasted away.  This makes good sense of the seagull mural - called "We Were Here First."  Quite.

After that, to earlier houses - the Sunnemøre Museum, on the outskirts, is another folk museum collection of old houses - considerably less touristy than the one in Oslo (I seemed to be the only visitor), and one could go into many more of the houses.

and its situation was quite spectacular.

After that, back into town for an overview - after climbing 418 steps.

And for those of you not on Face Book, to conclude, two evening views ...

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