The -private- photos of Marie Høeg & Bolette Berg

A friend this weekend directed my attention to the this tweet thread by Ann Louise Avery, in which Avery recounts the story of Marie Høeg and Bolette Berg. The two Norwegian photographers worked at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. I have been unable to stop thinking about these remarkable women since.

Høeg and Berg owned and operated a commercial photography studio. According to the Preus Museum, they took portraits, and photographed life and naval operations in their hometown, Horten, Norway. What marks the two today, however, is not the work sold to the public, but a series of glass negatives that were found in a barn in the 1980s that were marked “private.”

The private photos reveal a studio transformed from commercial portraits into a wonderland of queer photography, where Høeg and Berg played against norms of gender in delightful and subversive ways.

I have little more to add to the commentary on these images other than to say, I hope you spend some time with them, and revel in the powerful, playful world of Høeg and Berg.




The collection is at the Preus Museum in Horten.


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