Antique, art, design and vintage collectibles has always been my passion and a big driving force in my life. I´am art dealer and interior stylist.
The interest of art collecting in the Rydeng family began with Niels-Peder Rydeng ( great-grandfather) around 1905. Niels-Peder who came from a humble background, had traveled to Berlin and Vienna around the 1890ties looking for work as a tailor. During his travels he browsed the different exhibitions and there he got introduced to early German modernism and expressionism. It was also around this time when Niels-Peder first saw the works by Edvard Munch at the November Exhibition in 1892. The Munch exhibition made a deep impact on Niels-Peder and influenced his collecting all through his life. In 1905 Niels-peder opened his own tailor-shop in Ellsinore, Denmark where he by coincidence hired the Finnish artist Tyko Sallinen (1879-1955) who was working as a tailor at the time. It did not take Niels-peder a long time to realize that the young Sallinen was not only a skillful tailor but also an extraordinary unique and brilliant painter. Niels-peder encouraged the young Sallinen to spend more time on painting and helped him acquire painting materials and canvases. In return Sallinen helped with making covers
and designs to promote Niels-peder tailor shop.
The Rydeng legacy: A modern art collection.
The art-loving tailor, Niels-Peder Rydeng, had by the 1920ties, one of the largest modern art collections ever seen in Scandinavia. Niels-Peder Rydeng was not a wealthy man, and most of his life he could only acquire art through untraditional methods. One of his methods was swabbing and he often invited young artists to take a piece from his collection in exchange for one of their artworks. Another successful method were offering the young artists a collection of tailor-made suits in exchange for some of their artworks. Among the many visitors in his house were modern artists like; Edvard, Munch, Olouf höst, Edvard weie, J.F Willumsen, Sigurd Swane, Borge L. Knudsen, Folmer Bonnén and Karl Isakson.
In 1925 the modern collection filled Rydeng entire house and tailor shop. It was more a museum than a house and Niels-Peder Rydeng began looking for houses where he could open a museum. In 1930 Niels-Peder Rydeng offered to donate his entire collection to the city of Ellsinore in exchange for providing him a building for his works. The city sadly declined his offer and in 1935, Niels-peder begun selling from his collection to the auction house “ Winkel og Magnussen. 253 works of art was sold in 1935. Among them were 43 works by Edward Munch and many other works by artists like; Harald Giersing, Jais Nielsen, Theodor Philipsen, Olaf Rude, William Scharff, Frits Syberg, Edvard Weie and Ernst Zeuthen.
The auction house Winkel og Magnussen published a special catalog for the sale of the Collection and wrote the following passage: “ The N.P Rydeng collection is the result of 25 years of true respect and adornment of art. A man with very restricted resources but with a boundless love of the arts.
The Rydeng auction catalog 1935.
Niels - Peder Rydeng died in 1949, 14 years after the famous auction sale. At his death he left more than 200 important modern works. The many paintings were diverted into smaller groups and given to his 12 children and to friends of the family.
Translation and photos by my sister Josephine Rydeng, the maintainer of all obro-artgallery`s eBay auctions here She is also a great collector of fine Scandinavian modernism.