World on the Wall: Globetrotting through Vesterheim's Fine Art Collection

Exhibition Website

Travel the world through Vesterheim’s fine art collection! This new exhibition features a selection of works that reveal the world through artists’ eyes and picture scenes from five continents, including rivers, seascapes, city views, and portraits.

See over 35 rare and rarely displayed oils, watercolors, prints, and drawings by Norwegian and Norwegian-American artists like Jonas Lie, Christian Abrahamsen, Anna Hong, Sigmund Årseth, and Herbjørn Gausta. In addition to works by popular artists, the exhibition includes several never-before exhibited and rarely exhibited works, such as portraits done in Cairo by Hermann Schultz and scenes of Medfield, Massachusetts, by Knute O. Svendsen.

The exhibition also is an opportunity to welcome back three prints of the Panama Canal construction by Jonas Lie. The Lie prints have been on loan recently to the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York.

Visitors will be introduced to new artists like Solveig Arneng Johnson who attended “underground” art schools during the Nazi occupation of Norway, and can go “into the field” with watercolorists Leila and Carl Strand.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

Whether or not you go, Oh Panama! Jonas Lie Paints the Panama Canal looks back to the determined and spirited efforts of the architects and crews who accomplished the 1914 canal that was captured in paintings by Jonas Lie. One hundred years ago the Panama Canal linked east to west, opening for the first time in history a water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Now the Panama Canal Expansion Project, slated for completion in 2016, will open a new water lane to more and larger ships. 

Norwegian-born painter Jonas Lie (1880-1940), inspired by a motion picture documentary of the construction of the canal, visited the Panama Canal Zone for three months in 1913. Working tirelessly in the intense tropical heat, he produced oil sketches and drawings and took careful notes on the technical aspects of the canal construction.

Lie's canvasses were both historical documents of technological progress and dramatic interpretations of the urban environment. Lie recalled the Panama experience as a pivotal moment in his career, one from which he received national recognition for his work and also developed the aesthetic and technical strategies that influenced his landscape compositions from that point forward.

Oh Panama! Jonas Lie Paints the Panama Canal

  • Jonas Lie
  • Christian Abrahamsen
  • Anna Hong
  • Knute O. Svendsen
  • Solveig Arneng Johnson
  • and others

Exhibition Venues & Dates