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August 2008: Curator’s Blog

During August I spent four days in Sandefjord, Norway, visiting the whaling museum and finding out more about the whaling industry and its importance in the region.

Photo: Whaling Monument
Whaling Monument
Photo: The Whaling Museum, Sandefjord
The Whaling Museum, Sandefjord

I spent a day at the whaling museum, looking at the collection and archives. It was really good to see how the South Georgia collection compares and we looked at many ways of bringing the collections together and possible partnership projects for the future including exhibitions and online work. The following day I gave a presentation to a group of museum professionals, historians, private collectors and other interested groups. It was a terrific opportunity to meet many people with connections to South Georgia. Visit the Whaling Museum website [HERE]

Photo: Elsa Davidson & Fridtjof Jacobsen at the Whalers' Chapel
Elsa Davidson & Fridtjof Jacobsen at the Whalers’ Chapel

The whaling industry is an incredibly important part of the history of Sandefjord and you can see it all around the town. While there I had the pleasure of visiting the Whalers’ Chapel which was built in memory of the Norwegian men who worked and died in South Georgia. It is believed to be one of the only floating chapels in Europe and is a very calm and peaceful place to visit. Here I met Fridtjof Jacobsen whose grandfather was the Manager at Grytviken when Shackleton and his men visited with the Endurance on their way south in 1914.

During my visit I stayed at the Hotel Atlantic which is packed from floor to ceiling with whaling artefacts. As a curator it was an incredibly interesting place to stay and I also spent some time with the owner, Henrik Kulms, a keen collector of whaling artefacts and also a member of the team who restored the Husvik managers villa. I also became aware of the website [LARDEX] which he was involved in setting up. The site displays a large number of photographs and has a great deal of information on some of the vessels which visited SG.