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Experience the brand new

MUNCH

A new building has transformed Oslo's skyline, nodding respectfully towards Norway's bustling capital.

The new Munch Museum .
Photo: The Munch museum
The new Munch Museum .
Photo: Munch Museum

At the time of his death in 1944, Edvard Munch had no descendants to oversee his estate …

… he had therefore chosen to bequeath all of the artworks still in his possession to the City of Oslo.

Including Self-Portrait with Cigarette (pictured) and one of the world's most iconic paintings

"Self-Portrait with Cigarette", Edvard Munch (1895) .
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland
"Self-Portrait with Cigarette", Edvard Munch (1895) .
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland

... The Scream!

In one of the versions, you may be able to make out a tiny text that reads "Painted by a madman", which some believe was painted by Edvard Munch himself.

The Scream by Edvard Munch .
Photo: Halvor Bjørngård / Rena Li / Munchmuseet
“The Scream”, Edvard Munch (1910?) .
Photo: Halvor Bjørngård / Rena Li / Munchmuseet

The Scream

The three versions of The Scream are displayed in a rotunda, each for one hour at a time as part of the permanent exhibition, Edvard Munch Eternal. This is done in order to best protect the fragile paintings. It's clear that one of the world's most famous artworks has gained renewed attention in recent years.

"The Scream is more relevant now than ever. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, The Scream has come to reflect our collective anxiety and fear of the global virus. Sometimes the effect is humorous, like when the Scream-figure is depicted wearing a face mask and carrying hand sanitizer," says Maren Lindeberg, head of press at MUNCH, the new museum.

Munch’s figure is also often featured on protest signs, particularly at climate change protests.

"Contrary to popular belief it’s nature and not the figure in the painting that is screaming, according to Munch himself who wrote "… a great and infinite scream through nature", says Lindeberg.

Moving The Scream into the new MUNCH museum in Oslo, Norway
Moving The Scream by Munch.
Photo: Munchmuseet
Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch was a world-famous painter and printmaker from Norway. Born in Løten in 1863, Munch was active for more than 60 years and was one of Modernism’s most important artists.

His best-known work is The Scream, painted in 1893, which is one of the most iconic paintings in modern art. Other famous pieces include The Girls on the Bridge and Madonna.

Munch died at his home in Oslo in 1944, shortly after his 80th birthday.

In order to honour Munch's legacy, Oslo has built the new MUNCH museum, one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to a single artist.

Munch Museum from 2020 .
Photo: Knut Røthe
Building the Munch Museum .
Photo: MUNCH / Thomas Horgen

Estudio Herreros designed the sixty-metre tall building, which has less than half the emissions of corresponding buildings.

Many of the architectural decisions were climate driven.

The building is clad in wavy recycled aluminium panels that have varying degrees of transparency. The exterior is designed to screen and reflect sunlight to maintain a stable temperature inside.

MUNCH facade in Bjørvika Oslo .
Photo: Adrià Goula
MUNCH facade in Bjørvika Oslo .
Photo: Adrià Goula

More Munch than ever

In the middle of Oslo, a new building right next to the fjord is shaping the city's skyline.

The new Munch museum stands out in the Oslo skyline, Eastern Norway
Oslo skyline Munch museum.
Photo: MUNCH / Adrià Goula

"The museum is filled with Edvard Munch’s art as well as exhibitions featuring other renowned contemporary artists. The museum is five times as large as the former Munch museum, so you can now explore more Munch than ever," says MUNCH's press officer Maren Lindeberg.

In addition to exhibitions, the museum hosts a varied programme of performance, literature, music, film, and dance events.

"MUNCH is a venue that presents cultural events for everyone, regardless of age, or background. The building is filled with culture, topped with the best views of Oslo and the Oslofjord. You can visit the café, or enjoy a drink at the rooftop bar on the picturesque 13th floor," says Lindeberg.

Exhibition at the new MUNCH
MUNCH.
Photo: Einar Aslaksen / MUNCH

MUNCH aims to make Oslo more attractive to its inhabitants, and create another excellent reason to visit Oslo.

"The MUNCH is a great venue in Oslo. Architecture, a central location, and a calendar full of varied events will truly put art at the heart of Oslo, and give the museum a key role in developing the community. Bjørvika, the area where MUNCH is built, adds a new dimension to Oslo, which makes the city an international metropolis and an exciting destination offering a wide variety of things to do. Oslo is about to be reborn," enthuses Lindeberg.

The MUNCH museum in Bjørvika
  • One of the world’s largest museums devoted to a single artist
  • Exhibits Munch's paintings, drawings, woodcuts, and photographs
  • 13 floors and 26,313 square metres
  • 42,000 museum pieces and 11 exhibition halls
  • Temporary shows of local and international artists
  • Restaurant, café, bar, shop, concert venues and cinema
  • Designed by the Spanish architects Estudio Herreros.
  • Built in recycled concrete and steel 
  • 50 percent less emissions than corresponding buildings
  • The museum also houses art collections by Rolf Stenersen, Amaldus Nielsen, and Ludvig Ravensberg, donated to the city of Oslo

Source: MUNCH 

Moving the fragile paintings into the museum was no easy job.

The largest paintings, which are up to 50 square metres in size, had to be transported by water to the new museum. They were then lifted 21 metres by crane and maneuvered through a large opening in the side of the building's sixth floor.

Moving art to the Munch museum .
Photo: MUNCH
Moving art to the Munch museum .
Photo: MUNCH

Afterwards, the seven-metre high opening was sealed shut – for good.

Moving art to the Munch museum .
Photo: MUNCH
Moving art to the Munch museum .
Photo: MUNCH

The two enormous paintings that were moved in this way – The Sun (pictured) and The Researchers – were painted to inspire the students at The University of Oslo.

The paintings are displayed in a grand hall that stretches over two floors, and can be seen in the Edvard Munch Monumental exhibition.

The Sun by Munch .
Photo: MUNCH
The Sun by Munch .
Photo: MUNCH

But Edvard Munch was not only a painter. He loved to experiment with photography and didn't hesitate to use himself as a model. In other words …

… Munch took a lot of selfies!

His photographs can be seen in the digital exhibition, The Experimental Self.

Edvard Munch, atelier at Ekely .
Photo: Munch-museet/Munch Ellingsen Gruppen/Bono
Edvard Munch, atelier at Ekely .
Photo: Munch-museet/Munch Ellingsen Gruppen/Bono

If you find that your head is full of aesthetic experiences but your belly is empty, head to one of the three places to eat and drink. You don't need a ticket to the museum to visit them.

Munch Deli & Kafé in Oslo .
Photo: Maria Otterlei / Maverix
Munch Deli & Kafé in Oslo .
Photo: Maria Otterlei / Maverix

Order oysters or a Munch burger at the delicious Tolvte bistro on the 12th floor, or head up to the rooftop cocktail bar Kranen for drinks and an extraordinary view of Oslo.

What a place for a date night!

Inside the new Munch museum .
Photo: Ivar Kvaal
Inside the new Munch museum .
Photo: Ivar Kvaal

Buy a picnic basket downstairs at the MUNCH Deli & Kafé to take along to the idyllic Opera beach right outside the museum and the National Opera. Go for a swim (yes, we swim outside year round!) and warm up in one of the many hot saunas nearby.

Don't forget to set aside some time to stroll around and explore this new and super trendy neighbourhood, including Munch Brygge and Oslobukta.

Operastranda beach in Bjørvika, Oslo .
Photo: Didrick Stenersen / VisitOSLO
Operastranda beach in Bjørvika, Oslo .
Photo: VisitOSLO / Didrick Stenersen

Read more about the new MUNCH in Oslo.

MUNCH in Bjørvika Oslo .
Photo: MUNCH
MUNCH in Bjørvika Oslo .
Photo: MUNCH

Discover how the famous photographer Morten Krogvold was amazed by the new MUNCH museum. Check out his top cultural tips for things to do and places to see in Oslo.

Morten Krogvold .
Photo: Knut Røthe
Morten Krogvold .
Photo: Knut Røthe

More art experiences in Oslo

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