Located in Tøyen, east Oslo, the Munch Museum houses the most comprehensive collection of works by Edvard Munch in the world. An absolute must for anyone interested in his work, and the first stop on this itinerary. The museum offers free guided tours in English in summer (July-August) daily at 1 pm.
The National Gallery in central Oslo is one of Norway's largest art galleries, and home to several of Munch's famous paintings, including one version of The Scream, plus Madonna and The Sick Child, among many others.
The Scream, Munch's most famous painting, shows a distressed figure, mouth open and hands covering its ears, against a red sky. In the background is the Oslofjord, seen from the Ekeberg hill just south of Oslo. Tram no. 18 or 19 towards Holtet, or bus no. 34, alight at Ekeberg Hageby.
Edvard Munch spent many a summer in Åsgårdstrand, a little coastal town on the western side of the Oslofjord, where he bought a small fishing cabin in 1898. He found numerous motifs for his paintings here, among them The Dance of Life, Girls on a Bridge and Melancholy. In 1944, the municipality of Horten bought Edvard Munch's estate, which opened as a museum in 1947.
Munch lived and worked for 28 years at Ekely in west Oslo until his death at the age of 80, on 23 January 1944. Today only his winter studio remains - it is rented out to artists, with occasional exhibitions.
Edvard Munch was very close to his mother, Laura Cathrine Bjølstad, and her early death was to have a major impact on his life, his personality and not least his art. Munch's mother originally came from Fredrikstad, some 100 kilometres south of Oslo, where she was born in 1837. She married Munch's father, Christian Munch, in Glemmen Church in 1861 at the age of 23. She died of tuberculosis at 31, leaving behind five children, including Edvard, then aged four. Read more about Munch's connection to Fredrikstad. Guided tour available.
Hvitsten and Jeløya
Hvitsten, between Fredrikstad and Oslo, first became popular among Norwegian artists in the mid-19th century. Munch acquired a property there in 1910, where he painted landscapes and sea scenes, men and women sunbathing on the rocks, and pets from the neighbourhood. Edvard Munch also stayed on the farm Grimsrød, on the island of Jeløya near Moss, between 1913 and 1916. Seven of his works still adorn the walls of the Munch Restaurant in Refsnes Gods on Jeløya.
Edvard Munch was inspired by the unique light in the small coastal town of Kragerø on the western side of the Oslofjord. He spent much time in Kragerø at the beginning of the 1900s, one of his most creative periods. Today a statue stands on the main square in homage to the artist.
Oslo University Auditorium
The main university building on Karl Johan's gate, Oslo, is home to 11 large scale paintings By Munch, which are on display in the University's Aula. These were created between 1909 and 1916. The most famous of these is the massive Sun painting (7.8 metres in width and 4.55 metres high) in the main auditorium.
Munch's final resting place, Æreslunden Cemetery, is where he lies surrounded by other famous Norwegians, among them Henrik Ibsen, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Christian Krogh, Alf Prøysen and Henrik Wergeland.
Munch events in 2012 and 2013
- The Scream will be exhibited at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York, October 24, 2012 – April, 29, 2013. For more information check MoMa's website.
- Throughout Norway, Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2013, Norway will be celebrating the Munch Jubilee, to mark 150 years since Edvard Munch’s birth. A range of events and exhibitions will take place throughout the country to pay tribute to Norway’s most famous artist. Check Munch 2013 website for an up-to-date list of events
Book your accommodation
All the above places are either located in Oslo itself, or can easily be reached from the Norwegian capital on a day trip. Book your accommodation in Oslo.