Join a quirky Norwegian engineer named Kristian Berge on his skiing trips, meet his friends, see his naked selfie and enjoy his spendid photographs of work jaunts along the Western coast. 1912-1924.
Who was Kristian Berge?
We know very little. For twelve years, between 1912 and 1924 the Norwegian engineer named Kristian Berge (1887-1965) who worked for Statens Havnevesen (The Norwegian port authorities) took many photographs.
Today his photographs, all cellulose nitrate negatives, are now held at Fylkesarkivet i Vestland, the county archives of Western Norway. They too know very little about him. We can know that he lived in Norway’s capital city, Oslo but was born and grew up in the municipaility of Stryn in Sogn og Fjordane county.
We can reconstruct plenty of Berge from his images which reflect his work life, an evident personal interest in the outdoors, his social circle and something else too.
Some of the images also demonstrate a quirkily creative personality. For example, in 1912, he set his camera up on a freezing Norwegian beach to capture a naked selfie of himself.
He loved the Norwegian coast line. He took 100s of images of it. As an engineer he visited lighthouses, ports, quays, fishing stations and beaches.
He also went skiing with friends, who piled their skis onto boats to travel to the slopes. There are several images from these many skiing trips in the Norwegian mountains. We can gather from them that he liked to drink in log cabins, enjoyed what he calls “happy evenings” with his mates. Each 7 x 12 cm negative is captioned.
We know that he went out and photographed the effects of huge coastal flooding at several locations in 1913.
He was also a pretty good photographer who has left us a wonderful monochromatic picture diary of a forgotten life and lifestyle.