Museum in Oslo: A broken home for Munch’s art

Status: 10/22/2021 11:57 a.m.

The artist Edvard Munch created thousands of pictures – hundreds of them can be admired in the new museum in Oslo as of today. The move of the works of art turned out to be quite adventurous.

By Sofie Donges, ARD-Studio Stockholm

You can see immediately how much Edvard Munch means to the Norwegians: the new museum sits majestically on the Oslofjord. The upper part of the almost 60 meter high monumental building has a kink – a bow to the city, the opera and the art itself, says museum director Stein Olav Henrichsen.

He says: “It’s a really big house, you can’t possibly experience everything at once. It’s best to first get an overview of the architecture, the house and what is on offer. There are different activities on the different floors. From the very top has you have a fantastic view over the fjord. All of this in addition to the art that is on display here. “

The new museum “bows” to its home in Oslo.

Image: AFP

Opening postponed due to pandemic

Art lovers had to wait a year for the opening – because of the corona pandemic. So far, those interested in Munch have only been able to admire a fraction of the works in the old, much smaller museum. The new museum offers significantly more space for art on an area of ​​4500 square meters.

Elaborate relocation of the works of art

The move to the new building was quite complex. The largest paintings, some five meters high, first had to be lifted out of the old museum using cranes, and then lifted back into the building via the Oslofjord through a gap in the facade. Workers roped down from the roof and led the works inside the museum.

The opening in the facade has now been closed again, says architect Jens Richter: “There is also a secret door to bring the paintings out again if necessary. Of course, the plan is for them to be safe and secure in their new home.”

Opinions divided on the “lighthouse of art”

Richter designed the building together with his Spanish colleague Juan Herreros. Richter describes his idea as a monumental building that shines like a beacon of art into the city.

Not everyone in Norway is enthusiastic. Some Oslo residents were quoted in the press months ago as saying that the building is cold and ambitious.

Shortly before the opening, passers-by in front of the museum were a little more conciliatory: “Maybe a bit colossal compared to the other buildings. It takes up a lot of light and space. But I like it because they dared to build something completely new, that It’s spectacular. It’s just not boring. People from all over the world see the building and immediately know where it is. “

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400 works by Munch on display

Almost 400 works are to be exhibited at the same time – of the around 27,000 that Munch bequeathed to the city. There should always be at least one version of his most famous painting “The Scream”.

Oslo Mayor Raymond Johansen believes that the museum will not only become an attraction for Norwegians: “Oslo is currently changing a lot. We are on the way to becoming an important cultural city. Library and now the Munch Museum, which I am very proud of. It will mean a lot for our city and our country. “

At the opening, the British artist Tracey Emin will present some of her works in the Munch Museum. The exhibition “The loneliness of the soul” shows how Munch’s work shaped Emin’s work over several decades.

New Munch Museum in Oslo

Sofie Donges, ARD Stockholm, 21.10.2021 · 14:44

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