Rocks and Hard Places:
Emigration Through the Lens of Knud Knudsen

Exhibit Schedule

Livsreise Norwegian Heritage Center
Through December 31, 2019

Why do people leave their homes in search of a better life? Join us as we look for answers to that question in this exciting new exhibit that explores emigration through first person accounts, family histories, and the stunning black and white photography of Knud Knudsen.

Considered one of Norway’s most important photographers, Knudsen (1832-1915) was born in Odda, Hardanger, and he established one of the first photography businesses in the city of Bergen in 1864. In addition to his passion for photography, he also had a special interest in horticulture and the fruit trees grown in his home community. He would often return to the southern branch of the Hardanger Fjord to capture scenes of everyday life on farms and on the fjord. Despite the idyllic landscape, Knudsen’s work vividly shows why the ever-present threat of rockslides and avalanches, lack of arable land, lack of economic opportunity, and savage beauty of life on the fjord led to some of the highest rates of emigration per capita in Norway.

This exhibit features 30 large-format photographs.

The exhibition was created by Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.

For information about scheduling the exhibit, contact Vesterheim Exhibitions Manager Zach Row-Heyveld at or 563-382-9681 ext. 221.