undefined 4/6/1858, undefined 14/1/1916
Industrialist Rasmus Meyer (1858—1916) from Bergen was a passionate art collector who amassed a vast amount of art during his lifetime. Meyer came from a Bergen family with long trade traditions in Bergen. His father established Vaksdal mill outside Bergen in 1870 and Meyer became a partner in his father’s firm in 1890. They developed Vaksdal mill into of the most modern grain processing facilities in the Nordic region, and he also had success with his import operations. Meyer’s good nose for business also showed itself in his work as a collector. He bought art purposefully and systematically, and the collection filled his extravagant house in Krybbebakken in Bergen to the brim. In 1906 he worded his ambition: “… to collect of any artist who has been of any importance to Norwegian visual art a number of fine paintings that demonstrate the painter’s development down through the ages.” His goal was for the collection to be publicly accessible and of wide appeal. Meyer dreamed of a building where his art could be exhibited for a larger audience. Rasmus Meyer chose to end his life in 1916. His heirs, children Gerda and Finn Meyer, decided that the collection should benefit the public in line with their father’s plans. In 1917, they donated the collection to Bergen municipality. The deed of gift listed 818 works of art, whereof 550 paintings and more than a hundred historic furniture and interior pieces. Among the items are major works of prominent Norwegian artists like J. C. Dahl, Christian Krogh and Harriet Backer. Not least, the works of Edvard Munch gives the collection its great international importance. Today Rasmus Meyer's Collection is part of Kode in Bergen.