The first portraits were hung in the café in 1924. Caroline Boman Hansen, the founder, purchased the initial 30 from artist Henrik Lund. They portray his friends from the café.
A total of 87 portraits decorate Theatercaféen’s walls today. They show Norwegian cultural personalities, authors, writers, actors, painters, musicians and composers. Their common feature is that they were or still are regular guests.
Most of the portraits were drawn by Henrik Lund, Gösta Hammarlund, Pedro and Ulf Aas. But the collection also includes works by Finn Graff, Nils Aas, Per Palle Storm, Anne Raknes, Knut Hermod Knudsen, Kristoffer Sinding Larsen, Jukon Gjelseth, Jan Thomas Njerve, Odd Nerdrum, Finn Graff, Per Elvestuen and Arne Nøst.