Alain: Bad Boy of Norway

Museums are so annoying when they do not allow people to take pictures (without a flash) of exhibition items. I remember going to a diamond exhibit in Houston and seeing a few combs, but forgot I had my cell phone camera. *rolls eyes up to God*

However, on a trip to Oslo, one of the founders of the Creative Museum did remember he had a cell phone camera. :-) Inauspiciously disguised in a Dick Tracy hat, trench coat and dark glasses, he took a picture. Now we can see the Danish “Skonvirke” combs Oslo curators chose for the exhibit. :-) Skonvirke is the Danish version of Art Nouveau.

I like the coral-cabachon comb, but the Danish collection of the Creative Museum is better and much more extensive than what was shown in Oslo. Here are two examples.

This tortoiseshell and silver comb in its original box is attributed to Thorvald Bindesbøll. Provenance: “The design of a similar comb can be seen page 68, in the book Thorvald Bindesbøll og sølvsmedene, published by the Museet på Koldinghus.”

A tortoiseshell comb with a coral cabachon very similar to Georg Jensen.

4 Responses to Alain: Bad Boy of Norway

  1. What struck me was the fact that the Oslo museum had the descriptions in English!??

    People still haven’t fully accepted the art of the hair comb – which is nice for those of us who collect them, even if modestly. And these gorgeous pieces are not often available for viewing, you have to know where to look.

    Here!!! ;o)

  2. Sorry to bother you again – but forget to add: Thank you, Alain, for taking the risk and smuggling these pictures out of Oslo for us to enjoy!

  3. Peggy, you are a valued community member (VCM)! Acronyms rule our world now. ;-P Anyway, VCMs add wisdom. It is great that Alain had the savoir faire to take that picture.

    The Japanese have recognized that combs deserve their own museum with its establishment in Hakone. But there are collections and collectors who are way ahead of their time, and it’s difficult to be in that position.

    That’s why people are putting their collections online. The Internet is the great equalizer. You can’t turn your eyes away from the art form when a site gets noticed. I am wondering whether online museums emerging and reaching the art audience will have the equivalent effect on the real world that occurred when Japanese trade opened up to the West in the 1860’s.

    Time will tell. What do you think?

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