The blue colors work Modum (Norwegian: Modums Blaafarveværk or short Blaafarveværket ) was built in 1773 in Modum, Buskerud, Norway, as a royal factory and manufactory and was the first major chemical company in Scandinavia. The factory site is now open-air museum and art gallery, and represents one of the most important cultural monuments in Norway.


1772 prospectors discovered the Ole Vidtloch in the environment of Modum occurrence of gloss cobalt. King Christian VII assumed the reference in possession, and soon after began the degradation. By a royal resolution, the establishment of a blue color work was intended for processing ore on 1 April 1776. Although the work of the monopoly ( privilege exklusivum ) was the sole production of Smalteblau in Denmark and Norway, the production started slowly. To improve engaged the royal In 1783 Georg Christian Bernstein as a conductor, Bernstein was previously in blue colors work Carlshafen in Hesse worked.

The production of Modumer work amounted in 1791 to 2,281 quintals blue color, a year later, 2,817 quintals were produced. The products have been exported worldwide, including in 1788 after China and Japan. As a result of the War of Liberation in 1814 was the production back to 566 quintals, was increased gradually to 2,200 quintals to 1819 but again. 1820 employed the work of 34 workers in the corresponding pits worked 25 man. 1822 another blue color factory was built Snarum near the existing plant in Snarum. To increase the production of Modumer work on, in 1823 the company was converted into a public company. The Berlin banker Wilhelm Christian Benecke and a native of East Prussia Industrial Benjamin Wegner took over the work. The production could be increased in the following years, with the influx of new capital still further. Under Wegner, the new director, the work was in its heyday. At times, it was the largest industrial companies in Norway. 1827 worked alone in the pits and Pochwerken of the work about 500 workers. In 1840 there were already about 1,200 men, including about 100 workers were alone engaged in the processing of approximately 30,000 tons of ore in 8 Pochwerken with 78 Pochstempeln. The production amounted to 1838/39 to 3,451 quintals of various blue colors. At that time covered the blue colors work Modum about four-fifths of the world's supply of blue color. Modum had become the most important industrial center in Norway. However, Wegner not only increased sales, but also introduced a comprehensive social policy reform for the benefit of the workers one, so he is regarded as the ancestor of the Norwegian welfare state.

1848 was the plant in bankruptcy, a year later acquired the British company "Good Hall & Reeves ," the work. 1855 was the work in the possession of the Saxon blue paint and nickel refinery Niederpfannenstiel. 1857 ask you a the blue color production. In the 1930s, parts of the sprawling complex were demolished at the same time began restoration work on the rest of buildings. In the late 1960s, the area should be used once industrial, to protest the expansion plans were not implemented. In the following years the gradual restoration of the plants and their tourist value- started.

Current usage

The work represents one of the most important cultural monuments in Norway and is used as an open air museum since 1993. It is now equally tourist attraction as art gallery. In the socio-historical museum the life of the factory worker is shown at the Gentlemen Nyfossum interiors and art can be seen. The cobalt mines can be visited. The painter Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914) is a museum dedicated. The area is also called Kunstnerdalen ( Künstlertal ) because it has attracted many romantic artists. The area served as a motive for many Norwegian and foreign artists, including Theodor Kittelsen and his illustrations for the Norwegian fairy tale. Krøderbanen also belongs to the attractions in Künstlertal.