Nanna Broch (1879-1971) worked as a housing inspector in Oslo’s board of public health from 1919-1945. She was very concerned with the shortage of housing for the working class in Oslo, who lived in cramped quarters and bad houses.”We will not stop until all basements have been closed, and all back buildings are gone, before all old, rotten barrels, and all small, lousy huts are torn down, before all children grow up in good homes.” One example is 2 adults and 6 children living in one single room smaller than 12 square meters in an outhouse. ”All the disease that is bound to grow and develop in such terrible houses. Innumerable are those who can show a medical certificate stating that they must have better housing so that they don’t perish, but it is useless. Houses are not obtainable.”
Nanna Broch created and was the driving force behind Østkantutstillingen (1928-1956), she organised 90 different exhibitions and held courses and lectures on social and political issues. Some of the lectures were with slides. Østkantutstillingens hus rommet en to-værelses leilighet som i skiftende utstillinger ble møblert for forskjellige familietyper.
Apart from the housing issue, Nanna Broch worked for functional home furnishing. ”In its very nature, the arts and crafts movement fits into the labour movement … It strives towards good and beautiful homes for all.”
The photographs, like the archive in general, show the misery and document the public education work that Nanna Broch led. Some of the photographs Nanna Broch has taken herself, but several photographers are represented.
See Riksarkivet, document of the month March 2003.
Some of the quotes have been taken from: Nanna Broch – For boligsak og hjemmets trivsel, Oslo 1959.
Norsk Folkemuseum and Oslo Bymuseum also have photos from Nanna Broch.