The Gunnar Berg Room


Melbu • Vesterålen

The main residence of the Melbo Farm was built in the mid-1800s. it was the biggest wooden house north of Trondheim at the time.

The house had more than 500 square metres of floor space, including a basement and a loft. One of the rooms on the second floor is called Gunnar Berg’s room, or dagligstuesalen, the sitting room hall.

Christian Frederiksen married his second cousin Maren Andrea Berg in 1890, the daughter of the most powerful landowner in Svolvær. Maren had brother who was five years older than she, the well-known painter Gunnar Berg. He painted three wall paintings here when he visited in 1890, each containing a customary Lofot motif. The walls were plastered with a mixture of clay, sand, horse hair and hay.

This was the bedroom of Frederiksen couple at the time. They eventually had 12 children, of which 11 grew to adulthood, so the parents had to move into the adjoining room, the corner room, which was divided in two at a later time to make a guest room. The Gunnar Berg room had seven beds and a baby carriage, along with the governess’ bed.

Gunnar Berg studied painting in Düsseldorf and made frequent visits home to Lofoten. He died in Germany at the age of 30 year. Gunnar Berg is still considered one of Northern Norway’s greatest painters and among the most significant artists in Norway in his genre.