Adelina Hagerup Knits, and Knits, and… Knits?

Posted by Penny in Articles

Adelina Werligh Hagerup was a celebrated Danish actress, and a relative of the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg (his aunt, and also his mother-in-law; it was a complicated family). The Edvard Grieg photos in the Bergen Public Library uploads to Flickr Commons are full of family photos, portraits of colleagues, musicians and singers. So there are several images of Adelina Hagerup. Here’s one portrait:

Portrait of Adelina Hagerup, knitting
Bergen Public Library

She’s clearly holding her knitting, which is not so unusual in portraits of the time. Here’s another portrait of Adelina Hagerup:

Portrait of Adelina Hagerup, holding knitting
Bergen Public Library

It’s more subtle this time, but she’s definitely holding a piece of knitting in progress; the trailing wool down her gown is the giveaway. Now here, Adelina Hagerup appears in a group photo, from an 1896 gathering of Grieg family and friends to celebrate the composer’s birthday:

Edvard Grieg birthday at Lofthus
Bergen Public Library

Do you see her? Click through for a closer look. She’s sitting next to Edvard, and her hands are visible next to the head of the woman in front. And her hands are in the telltale position of… a knitter. I don’t see the needles or the wool, and maybe that was just her resting hand position, from habit; but from the other photographs, we know that Adelina Hagerup wasn’t one to put down a row for the sake of a photo.

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