Hannah Ryggen (1894-1970) was born and raised in Malmö, Sweden. She trained as a teacher, but her heart was more into painting, an interest that took her on a study trip to Dresden, Germany in 1922. There she met Hans Ryggen, and eventually moved to his farm at Ørland on the Fosen peninsula in the Trondheim Fjord. She developed her knowledge about dying yarn and weaving – and her monumental tapestries would go on to give her significant recognition. She became the first textile artist to participate in the Autumn Exhibition (1964), and the first female artist to represent Norway at the Venice Biennale (1964). Ryggen created more than 100 large-scale works, which are now displayed in museums and public buildings all around Scandinavia. Most of them are part of the Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum’s collection.
For the Hannah Ryggen Triennial, the museum loans works by Ryggen from other collection, in addition to exhibiting it's own collection of political Ryggen tapestries.