Many of the twentieth-century paintings in the Bergen Kunstmuseum collection were bequeathed to the city by Rolf Stenersen (1899–1978), one of Norway’s most prominent men of letters. Stenersen donated his first art collection to his hometown of Oslo in 1936 (see Stenersenmuseet) and was in a similar giving mood 35 years later, the beneficiary being his adopted town of Bergen. He was something of a Renaissance man – one-time Olympic athlete, financier and chum of Munch – who seems to have had a successful stab at almost everything, even writing some highly acclaimed short stories in the 1930s.

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