THE OLD MASTER
The famous tree which Jørgen Moe wrote his poetry. Jørgen Engebretsen Moe (1813-1882) was a Norwegian bishop and author who is best known for his work in collecting and publishing Norwegian fairy tales as one of the name-pair "Asbjørnsen & Moe".
Moe was, through his collaboration with Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, responsible for collecting and editing Norwegian folk tales, Norske Folkeeventyr. To Norwegians, the names "Asbjørnsen and Moe" have become synonymous with traditional folk tales, the way the name "Brothers Grimm" is associated with German tales.
Born at the farm of Mo, at Hole, he met Asbjørnsen while the two were preparing for exams and soon found they had a shared interest in folklore. The rectory where they met is now the local museum and contains a collection of Asbjørnsen and Moe memorabilia.
From 1841 Moe travelled almost every summer through the southern parts of Norway, collecting traditions in the mountains. In 1845 he was appointed professor of theology in the Military School of Norway.
Moe had, however, long intended to take holy orders, and in 1853 he did so, becoming for ten years a resident chaplain in Sigdal, Krødsherad, northwest of Christiania (present day Oslo). At his first parish he found inspiration for many of his most famous poems, like "The Old Master" (den gamle Mester) and "A Sunday at the Mountain Pastures" (Sæterjentens Søndag). In 1863 he moved to Drammen and became parish priest of Bragernes, then in 1870 he moved again to Vestre Aker, close to Christiania. In 1875 he became bishop in the diocese of Agder, based in Kristiansand. He was a much beloved bishop, and his teaching had a great impact on his contemporaries.