Let Audun Eckhoff, one of Norway’s leading connoisseurs, guide you through a selection of the most important art museums in Norway.
For eight years, Audun Eckhoff was the director of Norway’s National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, a museum that conveys the country’s most extensive collections of art, architecture, and design in several venues. Eckhoff has a long career in the arts, earlier as director for the Bergen Art Museum and curator at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Oslo.
Ever since the Viking Period, Norway has given the world art and architecture, ranging from wooden stave churches to the expressionist paintings of Edvard Munch.
Today, you can visit exquisite fine art museums all over the country.
Address: Universitetsgata 13, Oslo
Educate yourself on Norwegian and international art through Norway’s largest public collection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures from antiquity to 1950. Nasjonalgalleriet in Oslo shows both temporary exhibitions and the permanent collection Dance of Life. Some of the highlights include several of Edvard Munch’s most important paintings, including iconic versions of “Scream” and “Madonna”, as well as Tidemand and Gude’s “Bridal Procession on the Hardangerfjord” and Harald Sohlberg’s “Winter Night in the Mountains”. International works of art include paintings by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet. And if you need a break and a proper meal, the French Salon is one of the gallery’s most lavish rooms, with its polished stucco and gilded ornamentation.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Address: Bankplassen 4, Oslo
Enjoy a broad spectrum of genres and media in Museet for samtidskunst in Oslo. In the art nouveau-inspired building that used to house the central bank of Norway, you’ll find temporary exhibitions of Norwegian and international art from the period after 1945, as well as several permanent installations, some of which you can interact with in different ways. The museum café offers all-organic food, and the museum shop is also well worth a visit, with its large collection of contemporary art books.
National Museum – Architecture
Address: Bankplassen 3, Oslo
Across the square from the Museum of Contemporary Art, lovers of architecture can explore both contemporary architecture and historical themes in a building that juxtaposes classicism and modernist architecture. With important architects like Christian Heinrich Grosch, Bjercke and Eliassen, Sverre Fehn, Arne Korsmo, Steven Holl and Snøhetta, the permanent exhibition in Nasjonalmuseet – Arkitektur focuses on the idea as the core of all architecture. The museum shop offers literature on architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design, as well as gift items. In Grosch Bistro you can enjoy tasty dishes based on seasonal ingredients in architectural surroundings, or you can head outside to the Bankplassen square and have a cold beer and a meal in one of several cafes or restaurants, surrounded by architecture from the 1800s and 1900s.
Address: Tøyengata 53, Oslo