Sandefjord Museum

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Sandefjord Museum designed 1917 by architect Niels Winge Grimnes

Sandefjordmuseene (Hvalfangstmuseet) is a museum located in Sandefjord, Norway. It is dedicated to the whaling industry and is the only specialized museum on the subject of whales and whaling in Europe. Since 2009, the museum has been associated with the Vestfold Museum (Vestfoldmuseene).[1][2]


Southern Actor built 1950 for Chr. Salvesen & Co. Leith, Scotland

The Whaling Museum in Sandefjord (Hvalfangstmuseet i Sandefjord) was inaugurated as a donation from Consul Lars Christensen, the son of Norwegian shipyard and ship owner, Christen Christensen. Its full name is "Commander Christen Christensen's Whaling Museum". The building was designed by architect Niels Winge Grimnes (1885-1922).[3] [4]

When it opened in 1917 the museum building was one of the first original museum buildings in Norway. Lars Christensen had two main goals when opening the museum; to inform the public about the Antarctic and its fauna and animal life, as it was a relatively unknown continent at the time, and to tell the story of whaling as an industry.[5]

Since its opening, the museum has experienced some major changes including an expansion in 1981. Today, the Whaling Museum’s aim is to be a central institution in the presentation of a wide range of material connected to the history of whaling as well as the ecology and management of whales and their habitat. The museum's photo collection consists of 150,000 photographs around 30,000 of which are related to whaling. The museum is host to a host of international conferences related to marine life and to whales.[6]

Exhibits include Southern Actor, a whale catcher built 1950 for Chr. Salvesen & Co. of Leith, Scotland. Today the restored vessel is a museum ship open to the public. The former whale ship is both a living museum and a passenger ship.[7][8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Whaling Museum Sandefjord or Hvalfangstmuseet - The whale ship "Southern Actor", development of whales and whaling from primitive ustensils to floating cookeries - South/East Norway Tourism and Vacation". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  2. ^ Anne-Sofie Hjemdahl. "Vestfoldmuseene". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2017. 
  3. ^ Audun Grimstad. "Lars Christensen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2017. 
  4. ^ Trond Marinus Indahl. "Niels Winge Grimnes". Norsk kunstnerleksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Hvalfangst i perspektiv / Forsidearkiv / Forside - Levende Historie" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  6. ^ "Hvalfangstmuseet". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2017. 
  7. ^ "1950 Southern Actor". Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  8. ^ Bjørn L. Basberg. "Christian Salvesen". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2017. 

Other sources[edit]

  • Wexelsen, Einar (1993) Vel blåst! Kommandør Chr. Christensens Hvalfangstmuseum 75 år (Sandefjord: Hvalfangstmuseets publikasjon nr. 28)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 59°07′52″N 10°13′37″E / 59.131°N 10.227°E / 59.131; 10.227