The main exhibition is the heart of the Ivar Aasen Centre. Over recent years, it has been changed and extended.
Would you like to look at Ivar Aasen's very own stereoscopic pictures? Or listen to European literature read in the original language? Or perhaps you are more interested in exploring distinctive dialect features in the Scandinavian languages? In the main exhibition, you will find installations that tell you more about both Ivar Aasen and languages throughout the world.
A unique exhibition
Created through a unique collaboration between architect Sverre Fehn and museologist Thor Aage Gjestrum, the main exhibition contains many permanent elements. Since 2007, however, the staff at the centre have renewed much of the exhibition, adding several elements and installations. For visitors from abroad it would be especially interesting to play around with one of the three touch screens, which display more knowledge about languages worldwide and about Ivar Aasen himself.
Most of the new installations are now presented in English as well as in Norwegian.
The oldest museum
In addition to the central building with the main exhibition, there are several other venues at The Ivar Aasen Centre that contribute to a broader museum experience. It is worth stopping by the Old Museum from 1898: its presence makes The Ivar Aasen Centre the oldest museum in Norway to tell the story of an individual. You can also peek inside the storehouse: the oldest building in the Centre and the only building left from the original small farm where Aasen grew up.
Just down from The Old Museum you will find the old road where Aasen walked as a youngster. Along this grass-grown path, there is an audio installation, the content of which will be changed from time to time. In the summer and fall of 2014, visitors could hear the voice of actor Anderz Eide reading Aasen's most famous poem "The Norwegian", accompanied by the music of Johan Söderqvist.
The aim of the main exhibition is to try to answer why it was necessary to establish a New Norwegian language (Nynorsk) in the 1800s, and why it is necessary to keep this language alive in Norway today.
It is also important for us to invite visitors from other language areas to reflect on their own language and its position, and so gain a wider perspective on language as a phenomenon.
In addition to the exhibits in the main building, there will often be something worth seeing in The Gallery: a small stone building that functioned as the main museum from 1946 to 1999. This is a frequent venue for art exhibitions, particularly in summer. In the summer of 2014, the internationally renowned local artist Ørnulf Opdahl exhibited paintings there.
Translated by Kjetil Myskja