When Sverre Ødegaard passed away in 2002, he left behind many unique documentary drawings and sketches. These bring to bear, in the broadest sense, characteristic features of the old mining and farming community of Røros. The drawings also reveal Sverre’s capacity for combining tradition with innovation.
Texts in the exhibition are largely taken from Sverre Ødegaard’s own notes and publications. When combined, the texts and the drawings constitute a significant body of knowledge about Røros. The materials are from private collections and the museum’s archive, and the exhibition has come about through cooperation between Ingeborg Anna Ødegaard (RørosVy), Kasper Ødegaard and the Røros Museum. Selected texts and drawings from the exhibition, along with Sverre’s article Once Upon A Time There Was A Mining Town (RørosBankens Bulletin nr. 42, 2001), are included in the catalogue.
Ødegaard’s comprehensive effort to document and preserve the cultural heritage of Røros gained significance in 1980, when the town was inscribed on UNESCO’S World Heritage List. Sverre’s informants and the raw material for his drawings were local, and he wanted that the result of his work to benefit the local community. We believe that this important material created by Ødegaard can also benefit a wider audience and stimulate mutual understanding about care for cultural heritage.
Sverre Ødegaard worked with the past for the future. He wanted to bring about a holistic view in regard to care of the old mining town. Our hope is that the exhibition reflects this. We believe it will help create appreciation for the fact that preservation efforts must be the based on understanding of history. The exhibition sets focus on relevant issues that hopefully will arouse interest and involvement.
With this exhibition, the museum wishes to pass on Sverre Ødegaard’s knowledge and understanding of Røros. In addition to reinforcing historical perspectives, we hope the exhibition will appeal to the pride of those who live in – and love – this cultural heritage site. Last but not least, we hope the general public will enjoy it and, along with us, honor Sverre Ødegaard!
Røros Museum Smelthytta June - November 2019