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Henrik Ibsen Museum, Skien

Henrik Ibsen lived on the VenstÝp farm in Gjerpen outside of Skien for eight of years of his childhood, from 1835 to 1843. VenstÝp was founded as an Ibsen museum in 1958 and is owned by the Telemark Museum.

Photo: JÝrn Steen

Henrik Ibsenís childhood in Skien 1828-1843 - from prosperity to poverty

The first fifteen years of Ibsenís life in Skien were a class journey from prosperity to poverty. Until the early summer of 1834 the Ibsen family was one of Skienís most prosperous. But in the course of only one year − a year with a rude beginning when the authorities shut down the large distilled spirits boiler − the family was completely dispossessed and thrown into destitution.

The Museum

The VenstÝp estate was a gift to the Telemark Museum from the family LÝvenskiold and was opened as a museum in 1958. It is one of three Ibsen museums in Norway. The others, in Grimstad (1916) and Oslo (1993), together with Skien comprise key sources to Henrik Ibsenīs life.