Thorbjørn Egner

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Thorbjørn Egner
Portrett av Thorbjorn Egner - Fo30141603070117 1.jpg
Thorbjørn Egner c. 1952
Born(1912-12-12)12 December 1912
Oslo, Norway
Died24 December 1990(1990-12-24) (aged 78)
OccupationArtist, author, songwriter, playwright, musician, illustrator and translator
Alma mater Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry
Genre Children's literature, play, novels, songs, drawing
Karius and Baktus designed by Thorbjorn Egner Egner Karius og Baktus.jpg
Karius and Baktus designed by Thorbjørn Egner

Thorbjørn Egner (12 December 1912 – 24 December 1990) was a Norwegian playwright, songwriter and illustrator known principally for his books, plays and musicals for children. He is principally associated with his narratives for children including Karius og Baktus (1949) and Folk og røvere i Kardemommeby (1955). [1]

Norway constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northwestern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.



He grew up in the working-class neighbourhood Kampen in Oslo, Norway. His parents were Magnus Egner (1872–1952) and Anna Hansen (1874–1957). He was trained as an artist at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry under Eivind Nielsen and Per Krohg 1933–34. [2]

Kampen, Norway neighborhood in Oslo, Norway

Kampen is a neighborhood in Oslo, Norway. It is located Gamle Oslo borough, between Tøyen, Hasle, Vålerenga and Galgeberg.

The Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry was established in 1818.

Eivind Nielsen was a Norwegian painter, illustrator and teacher.

He started his career in advertising. Over a seven year period, he was employed as a designer and decorator at the advertising firm Høydahl Ohme A/S. His breakthrough was on the nationally broadcast children's radio show Barnetimen for de minste in the beginning of the 1950s. Egner is particularly known for his books Karius og Baktus (1949), Thorbjørn Egners lesebøker (19501972), Klatremus og de andre dyrene i Hakkebakkeskogen (1953) and Folk og røvere i Kardemommeby (1955, translated 1976). The latter two were made into successful musicals. He also illustrated his own books. [3]

Thorbjørn Egners lesebøker book by Thorbjørn Egner

Thorbjørn Egners lesebøker were a series of sixteen readers for elementary school written by Norwegian author Thorbjørn Egner. Egner spent 25 years working on the series – consisting of collected literature as well as his own stories and illustrations – and they were published in the years 1950–1972. The books were intended for children aged 8–15, which at the time corresponded to grades 2nd–9th. Among the recurring characters was the young boy Ola-Ola, who grew up on a farm on the Norwegian countryside, but later moved to the city and had to adapt to a new life. Other stories took place in far-away lands, reminiscent of the environment in Egner's celebrated People and Robbers of Cardemon Town. There were also a selection of songs and poems in between the stories.

Thorbjørn Egner received the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 1972 and Cappelenprisen in 1979. He also awarded the Spellemannprisen in 1975 for Ole Brumm og vennene hans , in 1977 for the album Folk og røvere i Kardemomme by and in 1982 for Beste Egnerviser, a collection of his songs. [4] [5]

The Cappelen Prize is a Norwegian literary award that was established in 1979 by the publishing company J.W. Cappelens Forlag, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the publishing house. It has not been awarded after J.W. Cappelens Forlag merged with N. W. Damm & Søn to Cappelen Damm in 2007.

Spellemannprisen, often referred to as the Norwegian Grammy Awards in English, is a Norwegian music award presented to Norwegian musicians. The award was established by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), an organization that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide. First awarded in 1973, the prize honours musicians from the previous year; it is still awarded annually. The Spellemann committee, composed of members of IFPI Norway and FONO, manages the award and acts as the judge. Twenty-one categories are currently awarded and the committee may award additional honorary and industry awards.

Personal life

In 1937, Thorbjørn Egner married Annie Eliassen (born in 1912 in Oslo). They had four children together. Egner died in the afternoon of Christmas Eve 1990 of a heart attack. He was buried at Ullern Church (Ullern kirkegård) in Oslo. [6] [7]

Christmas Eve Evening or entire day before Christmas Day

Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day before Christmas Day, the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus. Christmas Day is observed around the world, and Christmas Eve is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day. Together, both days are considered one of the most culturally significant celebrations in Christendom and Western society.

Ullern Church (Oslo) Church in Oslo, Norway

Ullern Church is a cruciform Romanesque church on the Holgerslyst property in the Ullern district of Oslo, Norway. It is the parish church for the Ullern congregation in the Vestre Aker Deanery of the Diocese of Oslo.

Selected publications


Children's books




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  1. Sofie Arneberg. Thorbjørn Egner (Store norske leksikon)
  2. Sonja Hagemann. "Thorbjørn Egner". Norsk kunstnerleksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  3. Ivar Mauritz-Hansen. "Rasmus Høydahl-Ohme". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  4. Vidar Iversen. "Cappelenprisen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  5. Jon Vidar Bergan. "Spellemannprisen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  6. Karin Beate Vold. Thorbjørn Egner (Norsk biografisk leksikon)
  7. "Ullern kirkegård". lokalhistoriewiki. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  8. "Egner, Thorbjørn". Norsk pop & rock-leksikon (in Norwegian). Vega. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-29.

Other sources

Preceded by
first recipient
Recipient of the Cappelen Prize
Succeeded by
Odd Eidem