Culture

120-year-old photos from “exotic” Faroe Islands published online

Sixteen hundred historical photographs from the Faroe Islands have been digitalized and published by the Danish National Museum.

Sixteen hundred historical photographs from the Faroe Islands have been digitalized and published by the Danish National Museum.

The images, which are primarily from the 1890s to the 1950s, depict Faroese nature, buildings and daily life, including activities such as fishing, harvesting and the drying of fish.

The photographs were taken by several photographers, primarily by painter, Johannes Klein (1854-1928), former chief inspector at the National Museum, Holger Rasmussen (1915-2009), and professor of ethnology, Bjarne Stoklund (1928-2013). Over a century ago, Danish painter Johannes Klein travelled to the Faroe Islands with archaeologist Daniel Bruun (1856-1931) on a journey of exploration to document exotic and foreign people. The pair collected items and photographs that were displayed at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900.

These images are part of the sixteen hundred recently published online by the Danish National Museum.

For Johannes Klein and Daniel Bruun, visiting the Faroe Islands was a “very exotic experience”, despite the fact that the islands were also part of the Danish Kingdom at that time.

Wibeke Haldrup Pedersen, museum inspector at the National Museum, says: “In articles, Bruun describes the Faroese as a foreign people, quite different from the modern European people that Danes associated with. He viewed the islands as quite colonial. The Faroese culture was rooted in traditions that Danes knew nothing about: sheep breeding, bird catching and fishing in dangerous environments.”

According to Bruun, the character of the locals was influenced by the Faroese nature.

Wibeke says: “Bruun believe that the wild nature was engrained in the people’s character. Nature simply became part of their traits and personalities. Bruun was very fascinated by the appearance and physical ability of the Faroese, but he believed that spiritually, they were very childish, for example, in their superstition.”

The photos from the Faroe Islands can be seen on the website of the Danish National Museum. Photos by Johannes Klein from 1898 can been seen here.

Words: Levi Hanssen
Originally published on: Faroeislands.fo

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