19 September - 30 October 2006
Main Building, Kildare Street.
Henrik Ibsen by Haakon Gullvaag
2006 marked the centenary of the death of the Norwegian poet and playwright Henrik Ibsen. The National Library, along with cultural institutions in many countries around the world participated in the international centenary celebration of this hugely influential writer by hosting Portraits of Ibsen, an exhibition of a series of 46 oil paintings by Haakon Gullvaag, one of Norway’s leading contemporary artists.
The Portraits of Ibsen exhibition coincided with the 4-day State Visit to Ireland by Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. On 19 September, Her Majesty Queen Sonja visited the Library to officially open the Portraits of Ibsen exhibition, to visit Yeats: the life and works of William Butler Yeats and also to view a number of Ibsen-related exhibits from the Library’s collections; these included The Quintessence of Ibsenism by George Bernard Shaw (1891), "Ibsen’s New Drama" by James Joyce (1900), Padraic Colum’s copy of the Prose Dramas of Ibsen, given as a gift by WB Yeats, and various playbills for Dublin performances of Ibsen.
Design for 'Peer Gynt' by M. MacLiammóir
The Library also arranged a series of Ibsen-related events to coincide with the exhibition including an interview with the acclaimed Norwegian writer Lars Saabye Christensen; a lecture by Vigdis Moe Skarstein, the National Librarian of Norway; a series of lunchtime readings by the Dublin Lyric Players exploring themes in Ibsen’s writings, and drawing on his poetry and prose as well as his plays; and lunchtime talks which looked at Ibsen’s influence on Irish writers and his impact upon aspects of the Irish Revival.