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The painting “Bridal Procession on the Hardangerfjord” at the National Gallery in Oslo, one of Norway’s top art museums
“Bridal Procession on the Hardangerfjord”, Hans Gude and Adolph Tidemand.
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland / CC-BY-NC
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Let Audun Eckhoff, one of Norway’s leading connoisseurs, guide you through a selection of the most important art museums in Norway.

    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.

    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. Here, he guides you through 17 of Norway’s best museums for traditional and contemporary art.

  • Norway’s largest collection of fine arts

  • National Museum

    Educate yourself on Norwegian and international art through Norway’s largest public collection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures from antiquity to 1950. From 2020, the National Museum in Oslo will show both temporary exhibitions and a permanent collection. Some of the highlights will include several of Edvard Munch’s most important paintings, like 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 will include paintings by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet.

  • The idea as the basis of all architecture

  • National Museum – Architecture
    ​Address: Bankplassen 3, Oslo

    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.

  • Early expressionism on the east side

  • The Munch Museum
    ​Address: Tøyengata 53, Oslo

    The Munchmuseet in Oslo manages the great collection of Edvard Munch’s paintings, drawings, prints, and other material the artist left to the municipality of Oslo after his death. Here, you get to see famous motifs like “The Scream”, “Madonna”, “Vampire”, and “Anxiety”. The museum shows both selected works from the artist and temporary exhibitions of other artists from Munch’s time and up until today, in parallel or in contrast to Munch’s own works. As the museum is situated close to both the park Tøyenparken and the Natural History Museum and Botanical garden, you can enjoy your lunch and coffee from Stockfleths’ Coffee Shop outdoors.

  • Modern art surrounded by glass, steel, and wood

  • Astrup Fearnley Museet
    ​Address: Strandpromenaden 2, Oslo

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  • Modernism by the Oslofjord

  • Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
    Address: Sonja Henies vei 31, Høvikodden

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  • Fine art in Olympic surroundings

  • Lillehammer Art Museum
    ​Stortorget 2, Lillehammer

    Lillehammer Kunstmuseum is housed in a building originally designed by government building architect Erling Viksjø in 1963, but got its modern look from Snøhetta’s distinctive extension from 1994 and Bård Breivik’s new facade from 2016. The museum’s permanent collection comprises Norwegian visual art from the 1800s until today. In a special section you can see a large collection of Jakob Weidemann, central to the development of abstract painting in Norway in the 1960s. The Museum’s temporary exhibition program is devoted to artists from the region and other important Norwegian and international artists. Outside, the Art Garden is a great place to relax in the sun with a book or a picnic lunch.

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  • The Royal Modum Blaafarveværk
    and the Cobalt Mines​
    Address: Koboltveien 11, Åmot

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  • Art, craft, and historic buildings

  • Drammens Museum
    ​Address: Konnerudgata 7, Drammen

    40 minutes from Oslo, Drammens Museum displays a broad cultural history of material objects, buildings and art from ancient and modern times. Explore the collections of Nøstetangen glass, Baroque silver, ceramics from the 1700s, furniture, textiles, interiors, religious art, and folk art, as well as the museum’s permanent art and design collection. In the museum park, you can visit a country villa from the late 1700s, in addition to several timber buildings from Hallingdal and the newer Lyche Pavilion. Here you can study temporary exhibitions of arts and crafts, as well as a permanent exhibition of key Norwegian painters.

  • Learn the history of photography

  • Preus Museum
    Address: Kommandørkaptein Klincks vei 7, Karljohansvern, Horten

    Preus Museum on idyllic Karljohansvern in Horten is a must for photo and history buffs. Here, you can explore the large collection of photographs, photographic equipment and photo books, all wrapped in a building redecorated by architect Sverre Fehn. The museum’s permanent collection shows the technical development from the camera obscura to the current mobile cameras, and the corresponding development of the photograph itself. Renown postmodernist photographers like Thomas Struth and Cindy Sherman are part of the collection. You can also enjoy smaller collections consisting of photographs of Norwegian performance and process art and fashion photography from 1950 until today. Central Norwegian photographers like Anders Beer Wilse, Elisabeth Meyer, Morten Krogvold, Tom Sandberg and Dag Alveng is also represented with significant works.

  • Andy Warhol meets Edvard Munch

  • Haugar Vestfold Art Museum
    ​Address: Gråbrødregaten 17, Tønsberg

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  • Study the art of Southern Norway

  • SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum
    Address: Skippergata 24B, Kristiansand

    In the coastal city of Kristiansand in Southern Norway, the art museum Sørlandets Kunstmuseum shows a number of key Norwegian artists from the 1800s, like Johan Christian Dahl, Frits Thaulow, Christian Krohg, Oda Krohg and Edvard Munch. The museum also displays many artists from the 20th century, some with special attachment to the region, amongst them Leonard Rickhard and Kjell Nupen. The collection shows both scenes from Southern Norway and textiles and craft-based art by artists from the region. After your visit, you should step by the museum café, which claims to have the best coffee in the city.

  • A cultural MUST

  • Stavanger Museum of Fine Arts
    Address: Henrik Ibsensgate 55, Stavanger

    Stavanger Kunstmuseum shows work ranging from paintings from the 1800s to contemporary art. The collection includes more than 70 pieces of Lars Hertervig’s landscape paintings of Norwegian nature, in addition to work by other renown Norwegian artists. The museum, which is part of Museum Stavanger (MUST) also has a large collection of art made by the interwar generation and contains work and archival material by amongst others Arne Ekeland, Reidar Aulie and Alexander Schulz. In addition to this, the museum houses Jan Groth’s collection, which includes Norwegian and international art from the 1960s until today.

  • The art nouveau town on display

  • The Art Nouveau Centre & The Art Museum KUBE
    Address: Apotekergata 16, Ålesund

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  • Paintings and music in Bergen

  • KODE Art Museum of Bergen
    ​Address: Rasmus Meyers allé 3, 7 and 9, Bergen

    In Bergen, you can visit the largest art museum outside of Oslo, situated in several buildings throughout the city. KODE is actually one of Scandinavia’s largest museums for art, craft, design and music, and combines art museums and composers’ homes, contemporary art, historical objects, concerts, and parklands. The Rasmus Meyer Collection shows many of Edvard Munch’s major works, amongst them “Evening on Karl Johan Street” and “Woman in Three Stages”. In addition to important Norwegian art, the museum exhibits significant works by Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso and many others of the 20th century’s most renowned artists. The Ole Bull Museum Lysøen, Harald Sæverud Museum Siljustøl and Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen are part of KODE and represent a truly distinctive collection of composers’ homes. These museums organize more than 400 concerts annually.

  • Visual arts challenged

  • Trondheim Art Museum
    Address: Bispegata 7B and Trenerys gate 9, Trondheim

    With more than 4,000 works of art, Trondheim Kunstmuseum features the country’s third largest public collection of Norwegian art after 1850. The museum also shows temporary exhibitions that covers the past, near past, and present, and focuses on a wide range of events where the visual arts is challenged and enriched by music, literature, guided tours, and performances. In addition to this, the museum presents exhibitions of work by Norwegian artists Håkon Bleken and Inger Sitter in the building Gråmølna, the museum’s arena for contemporary art.

  • Treasures from Europe and Japan

  • Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum
    ​Address: Munkegata 3–7, Trondheim

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  • Enjoy the art of Northern Norway

  • Northern Norway Art Museum
    ​Address: Sjøgata 1, Tromsø

    In Tromsø, you can explore art and crafts with ties to Northern Norway, from the 1800s and up until today. Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum’s permanent collection consists of paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, videos, textiles, and handicrafts. Selected works from the collection are on display throughout the museum’s second and third floor, ranging from Romanticism to the present day, with artists Peder Balke, Adelsteen Normann, Sámi artist John Savio, Anna-Eva Bergman, Olav Christopher Jenssen, and David Hockney.

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