Arts and Gardens

Ivar Aasen

Arne Mæland’s bust of the Norwegian linguist Ivar Aasen was erected in the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Noregs Mållag (The Norwegian Language Society). Aasen is considered the greatest linguist in Norway.

© Arne Mæland: Ivar Aasen.
© Arne Mæland: Ivar Aasen.
Alf E. Andresen

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Ivar Aasen (1813-1896) was the man who created the Nynorsk (New Norwegian) written language, and he is considered the greatest of the Norwegian linguists. He publically launched the idea of a separate written Norwegian in 1852. The language would be recreated from the Old Norse and the Norwegian dialects of the 19th century. Aasen’s language proposal proved very controversial, and Nynorsk is still the main subject of language debates in Norway. In addition to the great work Aasen put in to tour and record various dialects, he was also a fiction writer and poet.

Aasen stands with his head held high, his eyes raised. The solid chinstrap beard grants him a dignified look. His neck is balancing tilted against a sturdy, tall pedestal. Although his features are clearly modeled, the head is somewhat roughly sculpted. Creases in the metal are accentuated by blue-green verdigris.


Arne Mæland (1950-) is a sculptor and painter. He runs his own gallery and studio in Solbakken, Os, and is the man behind the international sculpture symposium in Os, which is held every other year. Mæland’s style ranges from the realistically figurative to the abstract. He has done commissions both at home and abroad.