Arts and Gardens

Henrik Sørensen: Bjørn Trumpy, 1954

Bjørn Trumpy (1900-1974) was a pioneer in particle physics, terrestrial magnetism and nuclear physics in Norway. He was the director of the Bergen Museum from 1943, and became the first Rector of the University of Bergen in 1948.

© Henrik Sørensen / BONO: Portrett av Bjørn Trumpy, 1954
© Henrik Sørensen / BONO: Portrett av Bjørn Trumpy, 1954
Alf E. Andresen

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Trumpy was Professor of terrestrial magnetism and cosmic physics at the Geophysical Institute, Bergen Museum, an office which in 1952 was changed to Professor of physics at the University of Bergen. The UoB grew out of the Bergen Museum, and Trumpy played an important role in the process. The University of Bergen was formally created in 1948, as Norway's second university, and Trumpy was Rector for five years, until 1953. In 1951 he was appointed Commander of the Order of St. Olav.

In the portrait Trumpy is presented in almost full profile, with his left cheek facing us. He looks serious, almost burdened. The background of blue highlights his red robe and the golden Rector’s chain, while the area on the left side of the picture is lighter, vertically striped. Is it a window?

Bjørn Trumpy is also portrayed in a bronze sculpture created by Nils Aas in 1979, which can be found in the Bjørn Trumpy house in Allégaten.

Henrik Sørensen (1882-1962) was one of the most important personalities on the Norwegian art scene during the first half of the twentieth century. He had been a pupil of the innovative French artist Henri Matisse. Back in Norway, he became part of the group that focused on art as decorative, which to them meant non-realistic. Sørensen was very active in promoting this art vision. He was interested in the line in the painting, and sought a rhythmic expression, through an effective use of repetition in the design of his pictures. The national became increasingly important to him - the art was to be Norwegian. All his life, Sørensen sought order and clarity in his compositions, as a framework for his occasionally bold brush strokes.