Cecilie Fredriksen and Kathrine Fredriksen
Cecilie and Kathrine Fredriksen are the daughters of John Fredriksen, Norway’s richest man, and so it’s no surprise that their endeavors have caught the attention of tabloids and trade press alike. The Norwegian twins were called “young and powerful, the next generation of super-rich, savvy businesswomen” by the British publication the Sun in 2017, and the two have regularly grabbed headlines when they appear at A-list weddings and swanky parties. But, in 2019, there came a sense that the glitz might not last forever: Rumors began circulating that the Fredriksen daughters were being phased out of the father’s shipping empire, which is worth billions of dollars. Kathrine dismissed these whisperings as gossip, calling them “completely wrong.”
What is clear, however, is that the Fredriksen sisters have amassed a significant collection of postwar and contemporary art in recent years. In 2019, as Oslo’s National Museum prepared to open a new outpost in a former train station, the institution announced that the twins would be lending 30 works from their collection—including Kerry James Marshall’s 2014 painting Untitled (Blanket Couple), which they bought at Phillips in 2018 for $4.3 million. Also headed to the museum were works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Yayoi Kusama, Bruce Nauman, and more. Yet their dealings with the museum have aroused suspicion in Norway. When it was also announced that they would be funding research, acquisitions, exhibitions, and more at the museum in 2019, the editor of the Norwegian art publication Kunstkritkk wrote that the news could “suggest an upcoming catastrophe,” claiming that the museum had lost sight of its mission to show what the public wanted.