Dyre Vaa

Dyre Vaa (19 January 1903 – 11 May 1980) was a Norwegian sculptor and painter. He was born in Kviteseid, Telemark, and later lived and worked in Rauland. He was the younger brother of lyricist Aslaug Vaa.


Vaa studied at Statens håndverks- og kunstindustriskole, and at Statens Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1922-23, under Wilhelm Rasmussen, and later travelled to Spain, Greece and Italy for studies. His first important work was a portrait of Minister of Education Ivar Peterson Tveiten (1925, bronze, National Gallery of Norway).


Among his works are his Holberg sculpture outside Nationaltheatret in Oslo, unveiled the darkest day of Europe, when German troops invaded Poland 1 September 1939. Further four bronze sculptures with motives from Norwegian fairy tales at Ankerbrua (Peer Gynt, Veslefrikk med fela, Kari Trestakk and Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon), and bronze wolfs at Ila (1930). Vaa contributed to the decoration of Oslo City Hall, with the swan fontain in the courtyard (1948-1950). He has made portrayal sculptures of several writers, Henrik Ibsen (1958, Skien), Aasmund Olavsson Vinje (1968), Ivar Aasen, and Olav Aukrust (1955, Lom), the fiddle player Myllarguten (Arabygdi, Rauland), sculptural work at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, several World War II memorials (Rjukan 1946, Nordfjord 1947, Porsgrunn 1950, Gjerpen 1954), and is represented at the National Gallery of Norway.


A museum, the Dyre Vaa collections, opened 1981 in Rauland, Vinje. Here are bronze sculptures and many of his gypsum figures, drawings and sketches.


The poet Aslaug Vaa was an elder sister of Dyre, and the writer Tarjei Vesaas and composer Eivind Groven were his second cousins. Dyre Vaa's wife, Thora, was daughter of writer Johan Bojer, and she was the model he used most. Their son Tor is also a sculptor.

Vaa has served as chairman of Norsk Billedhoggerforening.


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