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The National Museum of Norway

The National Museum in Norway .
Photo: Iwan Baan / Nasjonalmuseet
The National Museum in Norway .
Photo: Iwan Baan / Nasjonalmuseet

Welcome to Norway’s unique new space for its most extensive collection of art, architecture and design!

The National Museum of Norway .
Photo: Maverix / Visit Norway
The National Museum of Norway .
Photo: Maverix / Visit Norway

It’s the largest museum in the Nordic region, and bigger than international museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Guggenheim Bilbao.

The National Museum of Norway .
Photo: Iwan Baan
The National Museum of Norway .
Photo: Iwan Baan

The museum is located in the popular Aker Brygge area on Oslo’s waterfront, which offers spectacular views of the fjord!

The National Museum in Norway .
Photo: Iwan Baan
The National Museum in Norway .
Photo: Iwan Baan

About 6,500 of the more than 400,000 works in the collection will be shown in the permanent collection exhibition. The museum will also host several temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Exhibion at the National Museum .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Maverix
Exhibion at the National Museum .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Maverix

In other words – it has something for everyone! Whether you are looking for iconic masterpieces, such as Vinternatt i Rondane ('Winter night in Rondane')...

Vinternatt i Rondane at the National Museum .
Photo: Maverix / Visit Norway
Vinternatt i Rondane at the National Museum .
Photo: Maverix / Visit Norway

...or the latest fashion – like this dress worn by Kim Kardashian!

Exhibition at The National Museum of Norway .
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Ina Wesenberg
Exhibition at The National Museum of Norway .
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Ina Wesenberg

But this is not just a museum for looking at art...

Conference room at the National Museum .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Maverix
Conference room at the National Museum .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Maverix

"We want it to be a meeting place for people from many arenas. A place where you can go to study, attend concerts, have meetings, or take a coffee break and read a book."

Tord Krogtoft, Marketing Director 

Tord Krogtoft at The National Museum .
Photo: Maverix / Visit Norway
Tord Krogtoft at The National Museum .
Photo: Maverix / Visit Norway

Norway's new art center

The National Museum of Norway got its name after being merged in 2003 by the former institutions The National Gallery, Museum of Art and Design, Museum of Architecture, Museum of contemporary art and Museum of National Exhibitions. The moving process, where over 400,000 objects had to be moved, took over one year to complete.

Over 6,500 art works from the collection will be exhibited at the same time in the huge exhibition halls, that contains of over 90 rooms. Starting at the first floor with art from the antiquity, then moving forward in time to the modern era in the second floor. Last but not least, the 2,400 m2 large light hall in the third floor makes completely unique surroundings for the newest of contemporary art, that will be shown in shifting exhibitions through the year.

If you plan to see it all, make sure you have enough time! 

Works from the biggest Norwegian and international artists

The collection contains work from some of the biggest names in art history, both in Norway and international. Among the most known Norwegian painters from the Modern period is Edward Munch, who has even been given a separate room for his art.

Here you can find famous paintings like "The Scream" ("Skrik" in Norwegian) and "Madonna". Other famous painters from Norway, from the classic age, are Adolph Tidemand, Hans Gude, Christian Krogh, Theodor Kittelsen, Harald Sohlberg, Thomas Fearnley and many more.

The museum also got international stars on the list of exhibititors, like the classic icons Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse, and more.

In the contemporary art field, work by artists like Ingerid Kuiters, Daisuke Kosugi, Ilavenil Vasuky Jayapalan and many more will be shown.

But not only paintings are worth a visit. Among the museum's absolute highlights is the "Baldishol carpet", made around year 1040-1190 and the 600 years old "Dragon Vase" from the Ming Dynasti in China.

Preserving the art

Many museum objects are fragile, and can be easily damaged, even by factors such as light. Therefore, the museum has made special lights in the different rooms.

– The technology in artificial light allows us to set the light correctly, so that is doesn’t damage the art. Sometimes, some objects and paintings even needs total rest and has to be taken down for a while, says Communication Advisor, Hanne Marie Willoch.

She also tells that during the moving of the art, the art works in the collection went through an extensive conservation process.

– All the paintings, for example, have been through A "health check" before getting put up on the walls in the new museum. For some paintings, the conservators have rinsed every square centimeter with a small swab, that turned totally black of all the dirt! Earlier it was allowed to smoke inside the old National Gallery, so over time many paintings has been covered in tobacco, perfume and other waste, she says.

Art museums are boring for the kids? Not this one! 

Look for small surprises hidden in the tree in the «Adventure Room», or play small games placed in the sitting areas all around in the exhibitions.

The Adventure Room at The National Museum of Norway .
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet
The Adventure Room at The National Museum of Norway .
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet

The building actually got small surprises hidden everywhere – even in the building materials...

Materials of The National Museum .
Photo: Annar Bjørgli
Materials of The National Museum .
Photo: Annar Bjørgli

240 million year old fossils

When the architect chose the building materials, he wanted to use clean and robust materials that will age with dignity, like oak, bronze, marble and slate. Parts of the floor are even made of the very rare white stone, "mussel lime", from France. But the most impressing with this are the many small fossils that are hidden in the stone material, dated to be around 230 to 240 million years old!

One of the largest of these was found when the floor was laid, and is a so-called "Spiky Skin" ("Pigghud" in Norwegian). You can find it if you look at the floor right in front of the stairs up to the "Light Hall" – good luck on the treasure hunting!

A foot by a fossil in the floor at the National Museum
Fossil in the floor at the National Museum.
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen / Maverix
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Environmental friendly building

The new National Museum is a model project in the FutureBuilt program, which entails strict environmental obligations. The building must, among other things, satisfy an energy level corresponding to a passive house.

In recent years, a lot of new museums and cultural arenas has popped up in, and around, the capital of Norway.

If you like art and culture, Oslo is definitely the place to visit!

A chair with a view at the MUNCH museum .
Photo: Einar Aslaksen
A chair with a view at the MUNCH museum .
Photo: Einar Aslaksen

Some of the big "must see's" is The Munch museum, where you can see almost all of the famous Norwegian painter Edward Munch's work, included paintings like "The Scream".

The museum is also one of the largest museums in the world devoted to just one artist!

The Munch Museum in Oslo .
Photo: Visit Norway
The Munch Museum in Oslo .
Photo: Visit Norway

...or "The Twist" at The Kistefos Museum in Hadeland, just outside Oslo. 

The Twist at Kistefos in Hadeland .
Photo: Benjamin Ward
The Twist at Kistefos in Hadeland .
Photo: Benjamin Ward

Here, you can find cultural experiences for everyone!

What is your next adventure?

The fountain at the Kistefos Museum .
Photo: Nikolas Gogstad-Andersen
The fountain at the Kistefos Museum .
Photo: Nikolas Gogstad-Andersen

Art experiences in Oslo

Munch

Get inspired

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