Digital Transgender Archive
The Secret Lives of Berg and Høeg
Norwegian photographers Marie Høeg and Bolette Berg began their careers with the creation of the Berg and Høeg Photography Studio in 1895. The majority of their work was portraiture and scenery, but in private they took on a much different artistic style. In a box marked as “private”, a beautiful collection of photographs was found by the Preus Museum in Horten, Norway. These photographs now constitute the Berg and Høeg Photographs collection. The photographs primarily depict Marie Høeg as the subject in an array of portraits which challenge gender and serve as a commentary on the expectations of women. As a women’s rights activist in the late eighteen-hundreds and early nineteen-hundreds, it comes as no surprise that Marie Høeg, the less shy of the two, enjoyed playing with gender roles.
This photograph was of particular interest to the DTA team. Whether symbolic of freedom from stifling societal pressures or an expression of body-positivity, the subtlety of the photograph makes its message that much more powerful. With a dress that has been adjusted to reveal Marie’s shoulders, along with a strong gaze, this photograph represents much of the character of this collection.
Pictured: Norwegian Photographer, Marie Høeg