Established in 1948 by the Norwegian Parliament, The Relief Fund for Visual Artists (Bildende Kunstneres Hjelpefond) is an organisation that provides project support, individual grants and scholarships to artists working in Norway. BKH collaborates with local institutions throughout the country with the aim to strengthen Norwegian art production. BKH also administers The John Savio Prize in addition to four other major art awards. The prize is named after one of the most influential Sami artists, John Savio (1902–38).
Having disbursed funds for over 650 million NOK since its inception, the BKH is a major economic partner on the Norwegian art scene, making an important contribution to ensuring artistic diversity and innovation throughout the country. The funds are generated through a five percent tax on all public sale of art and art commissions in Norway.
The artist Ulrik Hendriksen (1891-1960) was a highly profiled and energetic leader of Bildende Kunstneres Styre (The Board of Visual Artists) between 1940 and 1958. He was the initiator and driving force to establish a law on art purchases in Norway, and every year a stipend award is given in his name.
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