Picture by K.M.Saetre @ Unsplash

MUNCH Museum’s building has transformed Oslo‘s skyline. At the time of his death (1944) Edvard Munch had no descendants he had therefore chosen to bequeath all of the artworks still in his possession to the City of Oslo. Including Self-Portrait with Cigarette and one of the world’s most iconic paintings: The Scream. The three versions of The Scream are displayed in a rotunda, as part of the permanent exhibition “Edvard Munch Eternal”. One of the world’s most famous artworks, it has gained renewed attention in recent years. “The Scream is more relevant now than ever. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, The Scream has come to reflect our collective anxiety and fear of the global virus […]” says Maren Lindeberg, head of press at MUNCH, the new museum. Munch’s figure is also often featured on protest signs, particularly at climate change protests. “Contrary to popular belief it’s nature and not the figure in the painting that is screaming, according to Munch himself who wrote “… a great and infinite scream through nature”, says Lindeberg. “The museum is filled with Edvard Munch’s art as well as exhibitions featuring other renowned contemporary artists. The museum is five times as large as the former Munch museum, so you can now explore more Munch than ever,” so Maren Lindeberg. In addition to exhibitions, the museum hosts a varied programme of performance, literature, music, film, and dance events. “MUNCH is a venue that presents cultural events for everyone, regardless of age, or background. The building is filled with culture, topped with the best views of Oslo and the Oslofjord. You can visit the café, or enjoy a drink at the rooftop bar on the picturesque 13th floor,” says Lindeberg. “The MUNCH is a great venue […]. Architecture, a central location, and a calendar full of varied events will truly put art at the heart of Oslo, and give the museum a key role in developing the community. Bjørvika, the area where MUNCH is built, […] makes the city an international metropolis and an exciting destination […]. Oslo is about to be reborn,” enthuses Lindeberg. The Munch Museum in Bjørvika is one of the world’s largest museums devoted to a single artist: it exhibits Munch’s paintings, drawings, woodcuts, and photographs over 13 floors and 26,313 square metres, 42,000 museum pieces and 11 exhibition halls. It also hosts temporary shows of local and international artists. Designed by the Spanish architects Estudio Herreros and built in recycled concrete and steel, it has 50 percent less emissions than corresponding buildings. The museum also houses art collections by Rolf Stenersen, Amaldus Nielsen, and Ludvig Ravensberg, donated to the city of Oslo, a restaurant, a café, a bar, a shop, concert venues and a cinema. Actually, moving the fragile paintings into the museum was no easy job: the largest paintings (up to 50 square metres in size), had to be transported by water to the new museum; they were then lifted 21 metres by crane and maneuvered through a large opening in the side of the building’s sixth floor. Afterwards, the seven-metre high opening was sealed shut – for good. The two enormous paintings that were moved in this way – The Sun and The Researchers – were painted to inspire the students at The University of Oslo and are displayed in a grand hall that stretches over two floors, and can be seen in the “Edvard Munch Monumental” exhibition. But Edvard Munch was not only a painter: he loved to experiment with photography and his photographs can be seen in the digital exhibition, The Experimental Self. 

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