Lovely Beings

The old main building from Kvitnes in Nord Troms creates a suitable frame around the exhibition about the young, single daughters at the trading centres in North Norway in the 19th century. There are few pictures of these women, and little has been written about them in the history books.

On the other hand, they are vividly described in fiction and travel descriptions from the period. Visitors from the south, mostly men, took notice of the merchants’ daughters’ gracious charms, their fine manners and modern clothes and hairstyles, which largely followed the trends in Europe. Many foreigners were amazed to find such refinement so far north!

At the heart of the exhibition is a reconstructed young girl’s room from the 19th century, richly furnished with traditional needlework done by hard-working women’s hands. Quotations by Hamsun, visitors from abroad and others are accompanied by objects used by the young ladies.