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Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme

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The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme (LWAAP) is a result of a partnership between Lise and Arne Wilhelmsen family and The Henie Onstad Art Centre in Norway (Henie Onstad Kunstsenter).


This partnership marks the continuation of a long-standing friendship between the family and Henie Onstad, as well as the fellow engagement and support of the Arts. The collaboration between the Wilhelmsen family and Henie Onstad is based on an intention of an equal partnership with significant commitment and involvement from both parties, both in the establishment phase and in the work of further developing and anchoring the art award programme over time.The partnership extends for 16 years with an intention of extension for another 16 years.

The LWAAP is bi-annual, the largest of its kind in Norway, and among the most significant art award programmes internationally. For Norwegian audience, the program provides an opportunity to get to know prominent, international artists in a Norwegian context.

LWAAP aims to honour and give recognition to a contemporary artist and promote their work to Norwegian and international audiences. LWAAP will support an outstanding international artist who works with painting and / or sculpture, has a special relevance and have made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary art within their field.

In addition, The Lise Wilhelmsen Fund will purchase a work from each award recipient.

The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme consists of four parts:

  • An artistic honorary prize of USD 100,000
  • An exhibition at Henie Onstad featuring the award recipient
  • The purchase of works of art for Henie Onstad's permanent collection

Learn more here: www.lwaa.no

Lise Wilhelmsen

Lise Wilhelmsen (1936-2019) was passionate about visual art throughout her entire life. She developed strong interest for arts as a young woman studying French in Paris, which later inspired her to study Arts and Arts History at the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo. Later, she devoted her life to promoting the arts through various initiatives. Among these, The Royal Caribbean Arts Grant which she was co-founded in 2003 to encourage and promote young, talented Norwegian Artists.

LWAAP was established to maintain and honour Lise Wilhelmsen's commitment to the visual arts and her work to promote artistic quality. Lise Wilhelmsen’s wish was to inspire people to see the important role the art can play in building bridges and breaking down barriers between countries and cultures, as well as the joy that art can bring to their lives. Lise saw the great importance of art and culture to our society and to each individual, and she was intrigued by exploring how art and culture can illuminate our inner lives and enrich our emotional world.

In the autumn of 2018, Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen, Lise Wilhelmsen’s daughter in law, suggested to establish an art award program in Lise Wilhelmsen's name in collaboration with Henie Onstad. At that time, Lise had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and the proposal to create a legacy promoting arts gave her great joy. Lise had a close relationship with Henie Onstad and was honored to give  her name to the award and the program.

Henie Onstad Art Center

The Henie Onstad Art Center is a leading arena for national and international art with a changing exhibition program and a collection consisting of more than 8000 works.

Henie Onstad Art Center opened its doors for the first time in 1968 and is beautifully located on Høvikodden, surrounded by the Oslo fjord, beaches and a large sculpture park.

The museum has always been an important supporter of the production of art and new expressions and you can experience photography, avant-garde, modernism, contemporary and music in a place that puts art at the center. The work Hymn of Life by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is permanently installed.

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