The Arne Wilhelmsen Family and Wilstar is proud to announce Henie Onstad Kunstsenter´s new bi-annual art programme and prize in Lise Wilhelmsen’s name.

The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway, announces a new bi-annual art programme and prize in Lise Wilhelmsen’s name.

With a prize amount of $ 100,000, it will be the largest of its kind in Norway and among the most significant art award programmes internationally. The first winner will be announced in autumn 2019, followed by an exhibition at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in 2020.

The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme is the result of a partnership between the Arne Wilhelmsen family and the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and marks the continuation of a long-lasting friendship and engagement in the arts. Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen, on behalf of the Wilhelmsen family, has – together with the Director of the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Tone Hansen – developed and created the framework for this award and its accompanying programme.

Whilst the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme will be international, it will remain rooted in Norway. It will include the prize and corresponding exhibition at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, accompanied by a catalogue, audience engagement programmes and an acquisition budget allowing for the award winner’s work to be included in the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter’s collection.

The award and programme for international mid-career sculptors and painters is a long-term commitment for initially the next 16 editions, spanning 32 years, with the strong ambition for a further extension. It provides an excellent opportunity to highlight and support the achievements of a prominent artist, both in Norway and internationally, and will further the possibility of presenting art of the highest quality.

Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen states: “It is important for us to create a programme that is in keeping with Lise Wilhelmsen’s appreciation and support of mid-career artists with an international standing. There are many art prizes for young, up-and-coming artists today, but we want to recognise artists who have been working for some time. The award is based on Lise Wilhelmsen’s wish for future generations to benefit from her many years of commitment to painting and sculpture.”

The jury for the first Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme is comprised of international curators, art critics and museum Directors.

“We are proud to announce a strong, all-female international jury. They represent varied, in-depth knowledge in the field of sculpture and painting and are some of the most qualified professionals from different continents.” says Tone Hansen, Director of the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter.

Lise Wilhelmsen (1936-2019) was strongly committed to the arts. She studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo, painted and studied art history and engaged herself in art. As the wife and collaborative partner of Arne Wilhelmsen (a partner, Chairman and CEO of Anders Wilhelmsen & Co. AS – the predecessor of Awilhelmsen AS), she was responsible for the purchase of art for several ships in the group’s various shipping companies. For Lise Wilhelmsen it was important that the works of art on board the ships provided a positive visual experience for crew and passengers alike.

The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter is a private foundation established by Sonja Henie and Niels Onstad in 1968. Both Sonja and Niels were close friends of Anders Wilhelmsen, the founder of Anders Wilhelmsen & Co. AS. The last two directors of the museum have both worked together closely with Lise Wilhelmsen and Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen through the programme Royal Caribbean Arts Grant.


  • María Inés Rodríguez, Editor of Tropical Papers and Curator at Large at MASP, São Paulo
  • Michelle Kuo, The Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA
  • Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director of Showroom in London
  • Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen, Founder of Wilstar Social Impact
  • Caroline Ugelstad, Chief Curator at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
  • Tone Hansen, Director of Henie Onstad Kunstsenter